Qatar Airways (QR, Doha Hamad Int'l) has announced that it will convert ten of the fifty A321neo it has on order from Airbus (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) to the A321neo(LR) variant.

The Gulf-based carrier said in a statement it would use the longhaul-capable narrowbody jet to open up new long, thin routes as well as to provide additional frequencies on existing Qatar Airways routes.

“We have reassessed the requirements of our fleet and determined that the A321LR will bring the additional capability and range to our existing portfolio of aircraft types that we require to successfully support our global route expansion," airline chief executive Akbar al-Baker said. "Based on this analysis we have agreed with Airbus that we will convert 10 of our 50 A321neo on order to the longer range A321neo(LR), the first of which will be delivered in 2020.”

Qatar Airways will add its first two A321neo to its fleet later this year. It currently operates six A321-200s and thirty-four A320-200s.