The European firm is in detailed talks with airlines over the price and timing of the longer-range design - known as A321XLR - and has pencilled in some orders subject to a formal launch, expected this year, industry sources said.
Airbus is looking for 200-300 draft orders before committing to build the A321XLR, in a move that would limit the space available for a mid-market alternative that Boeing hopes to launch in a gap between medium-haul and long-haul jets.
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