Like its Chilean rival JetSmart, Sky Airline has also become a customer of the A321XLR, Airbus’ ultra-long-range variant. The purchase agreement includes the delivery of 10 units to be used to expand its international route network.

With a range of 4,700 nautical miles (8,700 km), the A321XLR is able to fly from Santiago de Chile to various destinations in the US, the Caribbean and even some locations in Africa.

“This new aircraft fleet will allow us to expand our offer of international and wide-ranging routes, always under our successful low cost model and its extremely convenient ticket prices. Now passengers can enjoy new and very attractive destinations on the most modern airplanes in the market,” said Holger Paulmann, CEO of SKY.

Arturo Barreira, President of Airbus Latin America, said: “We are delighted that SKY has selected the A321XLR to further expand its fleet of all Airbus aircraft. The A321XLR will allow SKY to offer its customers new destinations, such as direct flights from Santiago in Chile to Miami in the U.S.”

Sky currently operates a fleet of 23 Airbus aircraft, 14 of them A320neo, the most popular in the family and able to offer a significantly lower operating cost than its predecessor.

No competitors

Order growth for the A321XLR has been impressing since it was confirmed in June during the Paris Air Show. Thanks to the unrivaled range and large passenger capacity (up to 240 seats), the Airbus long-range variant has become an ideal replacement for older jets, from narrowbodies like the 757 to smaller widebodies like the 767 and A330.

Despite this, its debut is still far off. According to Airbus, the first A321XLR is expected to be delivered only in 2023.

United is the third US airline to opt for the A321XLR, putting pressure on Boeing (Airbus)