I think that is what Airbus is really working on but they don't really have to pull the trigger on it until Boeing commits to their MOM.
But by then Airbus will have likely lost some blue chip MOM launch customers?
Not knowing what how the other guy will react is probably what's keeping both Airbus and Boeing from pulling the trigger on their next big, (or MOM), thing.
Other than engines, (which they don't make anyway), the wing is the most important, expensive and research intensive component of an aircraft...which not to imply that a fuse and the rest are cheap and easy...they aren't.
If they do a new wing for the 321, it may very well be the foundation for an all new aircraft. I have no doubt that both companies are working furiously on new wings, which they'll both need for whatever their next generation of aircraft will be.
I think, though, that starting with a re-winged/stretched 321 would definitely narrow the MOM gap for Boeing. If you can carry, 200-240 people efficiently for 5000nm, that's pretty much right on the doorstep of Boeing's MOM.
Whatever the Airbus MOM fighter will be, my sense is that it will require a new wing...regardless of what they say in public.
Would significantly impact the fish carrying capacity, for sure.
Airbus could squeeze another few hundred nm out of the A321LR but remember that Airbus flew an A321LR with a simulated full passenger load for 11 hours a couple of months back. The existing model is already exceeding expectations. What is the business case for loading more fuel and cutting more payload just to stay aloft for another half hour or so? Who needs this capability?
I dug up a story on that flight. They flew for 11 hours, but at only at a reported 425 knots with 162 pseudo humans on board. Flying at their normal cruise speed would cut the range and duration significantly. https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelgol ... b31fcd1b74