WATCH: Airbus takes its new long range A321LR out for a spin

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Airbus's new A321LR plane made its first test flight on Wednesday, taking off from Hamburg as it starts its 100-hour flight test programme, including trans-Atlantic missions.

The new model can accommodate 240 passengers and has a third additional centre fuel tank, making it possible to fly for longer distances without having to stop to refuel. 

Like most of the A320 models, this one is also made up of wing, fuselage and communications components and equipment designed and manufactured by companies in South Africa.

If all goes well and it passes the certification stage, the A321LR will enter service in the last quarter of 2018. 

Klaus Roewe, head of the A320 programme, believes this model will open up new routes in global aviation.