PARIS, June 18 (Reuters) - Airbus is considering bumping up the range of the most powerful version of its A321 passenger jet in the latest effort to pre-empt a potential new mid-market jet being studied by U.S. rival Boeing, industry sources said.
A new version being studied, dubbed A321XLR, involves a further revamp of the A321LR aircraft which recently claimed a long-distance record for single-aisle jets during testing, the sources said. The A321XLR would include capacity for extra fuel.
The A321XLR is designed to squeeze in extra range and may be targetted at North American carriers, whose ordering decisions could be decisive as Boeing weighs up whether to go ahead with plans for a new ‘middle-of-the-market’ aircraft.
“We do not comment on our product policy,” an Airbus spokesman said. (Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Richard Lough)