Airbus is currently undergoing the process of flight testing the first Airbus A319neo bound for a passenger airline. Taking its first flight earlier this month, the aircraft is bound for China Southern. The European planemaker has already delivered a handful of the aircraft to corporate jet customers.
The Airbus A320neo family has largely been a bit hit with airlines around the globe. Hundreds of A320neos and A321neos are bound for airlines. Despite this, according to Airbus’ latest order books, only 73 Airbus A319neos are on order, 30 of which aren’t attributed to a particular airline, while six are for private jet editions.
Testing the first passenger A319neo
Airbus has already undergone rigorous testing of the Airbus A319neo on an aircraft built specifically for the purpose. Despite this, each individual aircraft to be delivered typically undergoes several test flights before delivery to ensure that everything on the aircraft is working as planned.
So far, Airbus has delivered three A319neos to private customers. Now, the first aircraft bound for an airline is undergoing its pre-delivery check flights as spotted by aeroTELEGRAPH. According to information from AIB Family Flights, the aircraft is a China Southern destined jet first spotted in November last year. The aircraft carries the manufacturer’s serial number 10239.
According to data from RadarBox.com, the aircraft first took to the skies with the test registration D-AVWG on August 2nd at 09:44. As you might guess from the aircraft registration, the aircraft has been built at the European aerospace giant’s Hamburg Finkenwerder plant.
The first flight lasted around two and a half hours, seeing the aircraft climbing, descending, and turning in the skies above Germany. A second similar flight lasting a similar time took place two days later, on August 4th.
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Not a popular plane
This first Airbus A319neo for China Southern Airlines is one of just two confirmed to be due to be delivered to the airline. Unfortunately, like the niche baby bus, the A318ceo, the aircraft doesn’t seem to have a wide-ranging appeal. As mentioned above, just 73 aircraft of the type have been ordered. Of these, only three airlines have been confirmed as customers.
Like China Southern Airlines, Air Côte d’Ivoire also has two orders for the smallest member of the A320neo family. The only other customer identified seeks a fair amount of neos. Spirit Airlines has put its name down for 35 of the ‘mini-neo’.
This may leave you wondering about the other aircraft? Of these, 30 are listed as bound for undisclosed customers. These could be for airlines who don’t want to say they’ve ordered the jet just yet for one reason or another. The remaining six are listed as for “Governments; Executive and private Jets”.
Interestingly, China Southern is not listed as having ordered any A319neos in the Airbus order books, meaning that they may be at least partially behind the undisclosed order. We know that two are definitely going to China Southern as they’ve been spotted in the airline’s livery.
What do you make of the first flight of a passenger A319neo? Do you think more of the jets will go to China Southern? Let us know what you think and why in the comments down below!