Norwegian Air CEO interested in possible Airbus A321XLR

FILE PHOTO: An Airbus A321LR arrives after its maiden flight during a presentation of the company's new long range aircraft in Hamburg-Finkenwerder, Germany, January 31, 2018. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - The chief executive of Norwegian Air NWC.OL said he was interested in the possibility of a longer-range version of Airbus' AIR.PA A321LR, which the European planemaker is studying in response to Boeing's BA.N work on a new 'mid-market' jet.

Reuters revealed this week that Airbus is considering adding endurance to the longest-range flying version of its single aisle A321 jet in a potential new variant dubbed A321XLR.

The A321XLR would carry extra fuel and extend the range of the A321LR aircraft, which recently claimed a long-distance record for single-aisle jets in testing.

Asked at the Paris Air Forum if an A321XLR was of interest, CEO Bjorn Kjos replied: “Definitely, yes. An A321 with a long range is an extremely interesting plane.”

U.S. rival Boeing BA.N is studying plans for what industry sources describe as a hybrid jet combining a wide cabin and a restricted cargo space, shaped to fly efficiently in a space between the industry's single-aisle jets and wide-body long-haul aircraft.

Kjos said it was “a very interesting concept”.

Reporting by Tim Hepher; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Adrian Croft