Jetstar to operate Airbus A321neoLR

Jetstar will introduce the A321neo LR into service in mid-2020.

Qantas has announced it has restructured its Airbus A320neo order to include 18 long-range A321neoLRs which will join the Jetstar fleet from mid-2020.

The 18 A321neoLRs will be the first aircraft to be delivered from the Qantas Group’s longstanding order for 99 A320neo family aircraft.

Qantas said the A321neoLR would be able to operate Jetstar’s Melbourne and Sydney to Bali routes, freeing up Boeing 787-8s to be redeployed to other destinations in China, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as Honolulu in the United States.

“All 18 A321LR NEOs are expected to be delivered by the end of 2022 to replace Jetstar’s oldest A320s for use on domestic and international routes, and will each deliver a fuel burn improvement of around 15 per cent,” Qantas said on Thursday.

Previously the Qantas order of 99 Airbus A320neo (new engine option) family aircraft was structured to comprise 54 A320neo and 45 of the larger A321neo, with deliveries scheduled to begin in 2019.

Instead Qantas now says the order “retains flexibility with the sequencing of the rest of its A320neo order, which is approximately an even split of 232-seat A321LR neos and 186-seat A320neos.”

Qantas placed its original order the A320neo series in October 2011, while the CFM LEAP-1A engine was selected for the aircraft in 2012.

Qantas group has ordered 99 Airbus A320neo family aircraft. (Airbus)
The Qantas Group first ordered the A320neo family in 2011. (Airbus)

The A321neoLR has a maximum takeoff weight of 97 tonnes and features optional extra fuel tanks to enable the aircraft to have a range of up to 4,000nm.

The first A321neoLR (or A321LR for short) completed its first flight on January 31, commencing a 100 hours flight test program. Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is expected in the second quarter of calendar 2018, with entry into service before the end of the year.

First flight of the Airbus A321LR. (Airbus)
First flight of the Airbus A321LR on January 31. (Airbus)



  1. Adam says

    .. Another single isle, seat jamming aircraft, compared to the 787’s – a passenger hell for a 6hr. Flight to Bali … keep the 787’s for the Bali Flights – that was your point of difference compared to Virgin.

  2. Arkair says

    Will be great aircraft for Jetstar routes but Would like to see them on mainline Qantas routes from smaller cities such as Hobart and Canberra to NZ and Singapore. They are effectively a 757 replacement! Kiwi and Freedom both used 757s to serve regional centres in both nz and Australia very effectively in 90s. These a321s have potential to open up a lot of new routes

  3. Ross says

    Possibly exciting news for Network too. 18 older A320’s becoming available around the 2020 period might suit them

  4. Craigy says

    The purchase of the A321LR for Jetstar was raised by Alan Joyce in an interview he gave at the Singapore Air Show. This purchase also means that the NEO has been delayed again from this financial year until 19/20 or 20/21

  5. KFB says

    I like this decision. This also allows Jetstar to open routes to places such as Kuala Lumpur and Manila. Maybe the 787’s can be put on routes in other Hawaiian places… Does the 787-8 have the range to make it to the West coast of America?

  6. Lechuga says

    @KFB,the 787-8 does not, although maybe from Brisbane at max. I know American flew -8s from LAX to Auckland, but I’m unsure if they could make Brisbane.

  7. Ben says

    @Lechunga, don’t know where your numbers are coming from?
    Interwebs says ~7300nm range for the -8, ~7600nm for the -9. So the US West Coast is reachable from all the major east coast ports. The Canadians seem to be able to handle flights from YVR just fine as does UA and QF LAX-MEL in the -9.

  8. David says

    Why are all the new 321’s going to Jetstar? I would have though that in making a record profit, Qantas would have also got some new aircraft.

  9. Australiana says

    @Lechuga I’m pretty sure a 787-8 could do Brisbane – LAX. Air Canada fly them on Vancouver – Brisbane from time to time.

  10. Australiana says

    I’d like to see Jetstar create a hub in Cairns for the A321-LR. Just think of the secondary destinations they could reach in Japan and China and also places like Taiwan and Vietnam. Destinations where a 787 is too big for Qantas. Cairns would make a nice easy hub for these types of destinations.

  11. Aussieyer says


    The 787-8 can indeed make the US west coast. When United first started flying LAX-MEL they used 787-8 for a while until they had enough 787-9 to use

    The problem is that
    1. Jetstar only fitted a kitchen with enough space for 1 meal service on their 787’s
    2. Jetstar has stuffed in way more seats and this can’t make mainland USA. Destinations they have looked at include Oakland, San Diago and Las Vegas. I believe Jetstar put together a business case to get some 787-9’s

  12. John says

    This Aircraft has the capability to fly from the East coast of Australia to SE Asia . It will be a game changer on the routes 787s are too big to justify and will open new thinner routes . Think BNE to Phuket or BKK

  13. Chris says

    Makes economic sense for Jetstar being a LLC, to use the A321neolr’s.

    For Arkair – Freedom used a couple B737 and later A320’s and Kiwi used a B727.

  14. Arkair says

    I worked for ATC at time.
    Kiwi started with a US 727 then had an Icelandic a320 and an Air 2000 (Uk company connected with Canada 3000) 757.
    A320 was not Etops approved and caused many problems for them.
    727 had major issues with parts supply!
    757 was a great aircraft for them but air 2000 needed it back for European summer season.
    Freedom stated with a 737 then a leased 757.
    Air nz who owned freedom very impressed with them and considered ordering. Went with a320 instead!
    757s from Monarch and Air 2000 used here during pilots strike. TAA very impressed with them and also considered ordering however merger with Qantas occurred.

  15. Ian Morris says

    Yes, I can really see how being jammed into an A321neoLR would be better for passengers than being jammed into a Boeing 787-8…

  16. Bill from QLD says

    Having spent the last few yrs in the United States I’ve been lucky enough to see plenty of the new A320neo and A321neo’s that have already been delivered to airlines here in the U.S . The evolution of this aircraft , now with it’s big winglets and larger engines have made this aircraft look more streamlined , very nice indeed and when they fly past I can tell you that they are so quiet ! 🙂 . I thought that the original A320 / 21 were a bit lacking in the looks department , but for me now this aircraft has really come of age and its great to hear that we will have them at some time in the future in Australia . Though I have seen many airlines that fly the A320/21 with some beautiful liveries as well as some that are average , the Jetstar colour of silver is often very drab though ,honestly from a distance you would swear that Jetstar aircraft were just painted with a grey undercoat, very industrial very cold and depending on the light at the time . The current jetstar colour also becomes very dull when the aircraft are covered in dew or rain . I’d love to see a colour change , something brighter or something to match the sunny destinations and beautiful country that we have perhaps , I’ve seen the new neo’s and these aircraft deserve it

  17. James says

    @ Ian Morris

    What does that mean? If the seats are the same, legroom the same and service the same, why would it matter if you were on an A321 or 787?

    I don’t get it.

  18. Luke Carmody says

    why is it has qantas insists on splashing out constantly for Jetstar group and not for it’s mainline product i would have thought fleet replacement in QF domestic would be of higher importance with the age of Jetstar’s aircraft being alot younger the 787’s should have been in the qf fleet years ago to replace the 747’s and 767’s instead of making the latter a priority

  19. AlanH says

    Yes indeed @Bill. I too would like to see Jetstar change its livery from looking like a Russian military aircraft with its big red star and dull grey all over paint scheme. In fact, now that I think about it, Russian military aircraft look better than Jetstar aircraft with their multi-hued Sukhois in blue, white and black!

  20. Pete says

    Air Canada runs the 787-8 between Brisbane and Vancouver, United runs it between San Francisco and Tel Aviv. Brisbane to LAX is well within range, even in high-density Jetstar config.

  21. ROD says

    Aussieyer – your CNS hub for JQ would never work.
    Did not JQ come about by killing of a perforecly profitable Australian Airlines (Mk2) , & where was it based – CNS.
    Pride tells JQ (nee QF) would not admit their mistake all thoes yeards ago!

  22. Alfred says

    Qantas and jet star regularly announce fleet orders or possible orders but let’s face it they are only possibilities. I don’t believe a thing Qantas announce on fleet plans until it actually lands physically. How many announcements and then rescheduled delivery dates will they make