Airbus Industrie's newest jetliner will compete with the Boeing 757, sharpening the battle between European and US commercial aircraft builders.
The A321, unveiled March 3, has the fly-by-computer technology sought by airlines because it cuts staffing needs. Airbus executives touted the jet for being fuel efficient and low in harmful emissions.
Boeing's 757 has a computerized cockpit that permits a two-person crew, rather than the three that is normal. Both planes carry 190 to 210 passengers, have similar ranges, and cost just under $60 million each.
The four main Airbus partners are Deutsche Aerospace of Germany, Aerospatiale of France, British Aerospace, and Casa of Spain.
The company has grown to become the world's second-largest aircraft maker behind the Seattle-based Boeing.