The first delivery aircraft is powered by two CFM International LEAP-1A engines for lower fuel consumption and less CO2 and NOx emissions. The engines also produce less noise: Airbus claims that the A321neo generates only half the noise footprint compared with ‘previous generation aircraft’. The A321neo is the largest member of the A320neo Family and so far Airbus has orders for 1,300 units.
Virgin America currently operates 63 Airbus A320 family aircraft, a mix of A319ceo and A320ceo. The A321neo becomes the largest aircraft in Virgin America’s fleet, seating 185 passengers in a three-class cabin. Virgin expects to begin commercial service with the new aircraft on 31 May, with an inaugural flight from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).