Airbus has assembled the first A321neo ACF (Airbus Cabin Flex), a version of the re-engined narrowbody that allows for higher seating capacity.

The CFM International LEAP-1A-powered A321neo ACF was assembled at Airbus’ Hamburg facilities and will now undergo ground testing. The aircraft’s first flight will occur in “coming weeks,” Airbus said. The first delivery of an A321neo ACF is targeted for mid-2018.

By modifying the passenger door configuration on the A321neo, a new rear section is added on the ACF variant and the aircraft can be configured to seat as many as 240 passengers.

The ACF also serves as the base model for the A321neoLR, which will have a third underfloor fuel tank allowing for longer range flights of up to 4,000 nautical miles. The first A321neoLR delivery is slated for the 2018 fourth quarter.

Airbus noted that while the A321neo ACF is an option today for customers ordering the A321neo, it will become the standard version of the A321neo “around 2020.”

Aaron Karp aaron.karp@informa.com