The original Airbus A320 is an immensely popular single-aisle short-haul jetliner. Having entered service in April 1988 with Air France, thousands of examples remain active today, even since the new A320neo version hit the market. But, of the original A320s that are still flying, which examples have accumulated the most flight hours? Let’s find out!
According to ch-aviation.com, there are more than 4,000 active examples of the original A320-200 still flying today. These are spread across almost 250 operators. Meanwhile, none of the 21 examples of its counterpart, the A320-100, remain active today. Last year, Simple Flying explored where the world’s oldest A320s were, but what about the most active?
As it turns out, North America is the place to go for highly-used A320-200s. The busiest of these belongs to Air Canada, and bears the registration C-FKPT. Sporting 146 seats, this 29.6-year-old narrowbody had accrued an incredible 90,009 flight hours across nearly three decades of flying as of July this year. It has been with Air Canada its entire career.
Air Canada also operates the sixth-most highly-used active A320-200 left in the world today. Registered as C-FNVV, this example had amassed 86,884 hours by July this year. The 28.8-year-old jet had flown 33,144 cycles, with an average length of two hours and 37 minutes. This also translates to an average of eight hours and 20 minutes of use a day.
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Delta Air Lines
The remainder of the top 50 most-used active Airbus A320-200s belong to two US legacy carriers, namely Delta and United. Of these, the former has the highest-ranking examples, with N309US and N312US coming second and third respectively. N309US is 31.3 years old, and had accrued 89,638 hours across 41,045 cycles as of July 2021.
N312US wasn’t far behind at the time of the last measurement, when it clocked in at 89,106 hours. The 30.9-year-old twinjet had accrued these over 40,772 cycles, with an average length of two hours and 11 minutes. Its average daily usage was seven hours and 58 minutes. The A320-200 is Delta’s second oldest design on average, clocking in at 25.9 years.
Rounding out the rest of the top five most-used Airbus A320-200s is United Airlines, which flies the aircraft that rank both fourth and fifth. The busiest of these two is fourth-placed N405UA, which is conspicuously younger than the other examples thus far at ‘just’ 28.1 years old. It has accumulated 87,301 flight hours across 33,671 cycles during this time.
Just 40 hours behind this aircraft at the time of the last measurement was N413UA. Aged 27.74 years old, this particular A320-200 had accumulated 87,261 hours across 33,354 cycles, giving an average cycle length of two hours and 37 minutes. Its average daily utilization is also among the highest, clocking in at a busy eight hours and 37 minutes.
Did you know that there was an A320 with more than 90,000 hours on the clock? Have you ever flown on an Air Canada, Delta, or United example? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!