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Airbus to make new midsize long-range plane

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Le Bourget (France): Airbus will start making a new single-aisle long-range jet, beating rival Boeing to the market in this category.

The European plane maker launched the A321XLR jet Monday at the Paris Air Show, saying it will be ready for customers in 2023 and will fly up to 4,700 miles (7,560 kilometers).

Chief salesman Christian Scherer would not say how much the plane would cost to develop, but said it would be significantly less than building a whole new plane because it is an upgraded version of the existing A321.

It was the biggest new plane announcement expected at the Paris Air Show gathering of aviation industry powerhouses.

Boeing is considering whether to build a new jet; the concept is dubbed New Midsize Airplane, or NMA that would be close in size to the A321XLR. It would fill a gap in the Boeing lineup between the smaller 737 and the larger 777 and 787.

Right after the launch, Los Angeles-based Air Lease Corporation signed a letter of intent to buy 27 of the new Airbus planes.

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