, PARIS, France, Oct 31 – The A321 aircraft operated by a Russian airline that crashed Saturday in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula with 224 people onboard, is the largest member of Airbus’ best-selling A320 jet series.
At 44.51 metres (146 feet) long and with a 34.1-metre wingspan, this workhorse of the sky can cover long distances, such as transatlantic routes from Europe to the eastern coast of the United States.
The A321 made its maiden flight in March 1993 and received its certification the following December.
It typically accommodates 185 passengers — 16 in business class and 169 in economy — but can carry up to 220 passengers on chartered flights, according to the Airbus website.
The Russian charter flight that crashed in a mountainous part of the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday had 224 passengers and crew onboard.
This is not the first time the model has been hit by tragedy: in July 2010, an A321 operated by Pakistani airline Airblue crashed in the hills near Islamabad, killing all 152 people onboard.
There are currently 1,140 A321s in operation, according to Airbus. The company is currently handling orders for another 2,593 — 1,617 A321ceos and 976 of the newer A321neo version, which have yet to be delivered.
From 2018, a better use of cabin space will allow the A321neo to accommodate up to 240 passengers.
Russian carrier Kogalymavia, which operated the flight that crashed on Saturday, has two A320s and seven A321s.