Could Airbus Build An A322?
Airbus could build a new aircraft, the A322, to fix the ‘middle of the market’ problem. It would be based on the A320 platform, with the improvements developed during the A321XLR program and better designed for medium-haul routes.
You can watch a video about this topic below:
The middle of the market problem
Essentially, the middle of the market is a gap between short-haul smaller single-aisle aircraft (Like the Boeing 737 or Airbus A320) and wide-body long-haul aircraft (Like the Boeing 777 or Airbus A350). Airlines either find themselves operating aircraft with too few seats (and thus not making much money) or too many seats (not enough passengers).
The sweet spot seems to be around the 5,000 nautical mile range and carrying 220-270 passengers.
Originally this market was catered to by the Boeing 757 series, which has since been discontinued and outmoded by newer fuel-efficient aircraft.
Both Airbus and Boeing have approached this demand from airlines in different ways.
Airbus has developed two aircraft in a ‘left hook’ and ‘right hook’ way. They have reached up into the gap with the Airbus A321XLR, which is a single-aisle long-range aircraft that can carry 220 passengers to a range of 4,700 nautical miles.