The Airbus A320 is one of the world’s most popular single-aisle aircraft. Having first entered service in 1988, the aircraft competes directly with the Boeing 737. With thousands of jets built and more to come thanks to the A320neo family, these iconic aircraft will still fly for a long time to come. However, you may be surprised to know that there are still some old Airbus A320s flying.
The oldest Airbus A320s
Data from Planespotters shows that there are thousands of A320s in operation around the world. The oldest of these flies for Jordan Aviation. This is a regional airline based in Amman, Jordan. JY-JAC, first flown in 1989, is 31-years-old and was originally part of Ansett Airlines in Australia.
Leasing company Global Aviation in South Africa maintains two 31-year-old A320s– ZS-GAR and ZS-GAW. Both previously flew for Corendon Airlines in Turkey.
Lufthansa has flown some of the oldest Airbus A320s. While most have entered retirement, one is currently stored at Berlin Schönefeld (SXF). D-AIPP is 30 years old. However, as Lufthansa is in the process of downsizing, this aircraft may be the next to go. Most of Lufthansa’s oldest A320s that entered retirement are stored at Teruel in Spain. Just a few days younger, D-AIPR and D-AIPS, are also stored at SXF.
Delta Air Lines inherited its Airbus A320s from its merger with Northwest Airlines. Since then, the carrier has expanded its A320ceo fleet and has 100 A321neos on order. Its oldest A320, N309US, is also 30 years old. However, this aircraft is currently stored at San Bernardino Airport in California and could be entering retirement. Another 30-year old aircraft, N312US, is in storage at Kansas City International Airport (MCI).
There are four 30-year old Air Canada A320s. C-FDSN, C-FDST, C-FDSU, and C-FFWI all came to the airline near the end of 1990. All three jets are currently stored, however.
There is one Airbus A320, VT-EPD, that still serves customers. However, it does so in a very different fashion. This airplane is now a restaurant called “Hawai Adda,” which literally means “airport” in Urdu. It is based in Ludhiana, India. The aircraft previously flew for Air India.
Another former Air India A320, VT-EPO, has also been converted into a restaurant. Called “Runway 1”, the airplane-restaurant is in Ambala, India.
— Indian Eagle (@indianeagle) February 3, 2017
1989-1990 was a busy year for Airbus A320 deliveries. Most of the oldest A320s first entered operation in those two years. However, most airlines are retiring older aircraft. Air Canada sent its first A320, C-FDQQ, which was originally delivered in 1990, to retirement on April 6th, 2020.
Whereas other older aircraft like the MD-11, 747, 757, and more saw later life as freighter aircraft, the A320 is not currently convertible to carry cargo. This means that, when retired, it is the end of the line for those jets. However, Airbus is working on a passenger-to-freighter conversion for Airbus A321 aircraft. For a narrowbody, short-haul workhorse, close to 30 years is a venerable run. However, the lower maintenance costs and fuel efficiency of the A320neos and Boeing 737 MAX is hard to beat.
What is the oldest Airbus A320 you’ve flown on? Are you an A320 fan? Let us know in the comments!