Airbus’ A320neo programme has just hit another historical milestone. Today, Airbus revealed that it had just delivered its 1,000th aircraft in the A320neo family.
Which aircraft did Airbus deliver?
The aircraft was an A321neo which was produced in the Hamburg branch of the Airbus manufacturing site. A spokesperson for Airbus told us about the delivery.
“The 1000th delivery is a key milestone in Airbus’ strategy of employing incremental innovation to respond to market needs for aircraft with reduced fuel burn, reduced noise and increased productivity.”
They went on to say that the delivery was also a testament to the market-wide success Airbus has had with aircraft orders. As of last month, the manufacturer had 6,660 firm orders for A320neo Family aircraft. The Airbus spokesperson said:
“It is also a milestone in the production ramp up of our aircraft programmes which has seen yearly deliveries rise every year since 2003. In 2018, Airbus delivered 800 aircraft (an Airbus record) and the target is to surpass this in 2019.”
It is a historical day for the aircraft manufacturer as it continues to achieve its goals with the A320neo programme. In the release, Airbus also went on to say that it was happy with how the programme has progressed. It said:
“…the programme has achieved milestones every year since [the first A320neo was delivered]: the first A321neo in 2017; the first A321LR in 2018 and the launch of the A321XLR in 2019.”
Now the 1,000th delivery is something is can also write home about.
The lucky recipient of the 1,000th delivery in the A320neo family was the Indian carrier, IndiGo. Airbus spoke fondly of the impact of its partnership with IndiGo for A320 aircraft. In the release, it said:
“…the fuel efficient A320 Family has been instrumental in IndiGo’s rise to become India’s largest airline by fleet size and passenger numbers.”
IndiGo was also happy with the delivery. Speaking to Times of India, IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta, said:
“We are delighted to add another A321neo in our fleet as we continue to expand our domestic and international operations. The A320 family has enhanced the cost and fuel-efficiency in IndiGo’s operations and will strengthen this proposition in the future, as we aim to build the best air transportation system in the world.”
But for IndiGo the delivery was significant for another reason. The delivery now makes the airline the biggest in India. It has the largest fleet that any Indian carrier has ever had, with 245 aircraft in service.
The Airbus and IndiGo relationship
IndiGo is currently the world’s largest operator of the A320neo family of aircraft. According to Airbus, it has made 430 orders for the model and now has 96 active aircraft in its fleet. That is alongside the 129 A320s it also operates.
But whilst IndiGo’s high dependency on the A320 family has brought home benefits, it has also left the airline feeling the brunt of a number of issues with the aircraft.
Earlier in September, we reported that various airlines were preventing passengers from booking rear aisle seats on A320neo aircraft. The reason for this was a design issue resulting in an off-balance centre of gravity. The Airbus models have also had issues with their Pratt and Whitney 1100G engines.
These issues have affected IndiGo’s operations, causing emergency landings and flight cancellations. In 2018, the airline suffered a mid-air engine failure as well a smoke-filled cabin and grounded aircraft – all due to the A320 engine issues.
In light of the misgivings that the A320 might arouse, this A320neo delivery still comes as welcome news for the airline and aircraft manufacturer alike.
The A320neo programme
The A320neo family includes the A319neo, A320neo, A321neo, A321LR and A321XLR. The first-ever A320neo was delivered in January 2016 to Lufthansa.
The aircraft are designed to be more fuel-efficient than their predecessors, reducing fuel burn by 20% and giving a 50% reduction in noise pollution. They are the widest single-aisle aircraft in the skies with seating options for up to 240 passengers.
In September this year, Airbus had 110 international customers with 6,660 firm orders.
Have you flown Airbus’ latest A320neo family? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below!