The A318 extends Airbus’ A320 Family product line into the 100-seat commercial jetliner market segment. Joining the A319, A320 and A321, it provides Airbus with one family of single-aisle aircraft that covers capacities from 100 to 240 seats.
As the smallest A320 Family member, the A318’s fuselage is 2.39 metres shorter than the A319. Takeoff weight choices of up to 66 metric tonnes provide airlines with greater operating versatility and higher loads in operating the A318, with a maximum flight range of 3,100 nm.
Designed to serve markets with frequent services on low-density routes, the A318 accommodates 107 passengers in a typical two-class cabin configuration. Airlines enjoy the benefits of Airbus technology, including one of the newest wing designs in its size category and the application of advanced materials in the airframe – providing more efficient operations and lower fuel consumption.
Wide cabin comfort
Airlines and passengers both benefit from the A318’s wide cabin, which ensures a high level of comfort and provides large overhead bins for carry-on luggage. The cabin cross-section also offers unrivalled cabin versatility, ranging from four- and five-abreast business seating to comfortable six-abreast economy class arrangements.
Unlike certain competitors, the A318 has large passenger and service doors at both the front and rear of the aircraft, allowing galley servicing and cabin cleaning to be carried out simultaneously. These larger doors speed passenger flow as well as the servicing.
The advanced systems designed into the A318 begin with Airbus’ fly-by-wire flight controls and a state-of-the-art cockpit, which is shared with all of the other A320 Family aircraft. This enables A318 pilots to fly any other A320 Family jetliner with a single type rating, allowing airlines to schedule the aircraft best matched to passenger bookings on a per-flight basis. Pilots rated on the A318 also can transition more easily to the other fly-by-wire members of Airbus’ product line due to their high degree of commonality.
Also incorporated in the A318 is Airbus’ digital cabin management system, which controls the operating of cabin lighting, pre-recorded messages, emergency evacuation signalling and other cabin-related tasks. It can verify the quantity of potable water onboard and allow a preselect of the quantity to be loaded, while the system’s digital databus allows the functioning of all passenger service units to be checked from one point.
“Steep approach” capability
Airbus’ A318 is the largest commercial aircraft certified to land at steeper-than-usual gradients, making it ideal for operations at such constrained locations as downtown airports – translating to significant cost and time savings for business travellers.
Since 2009, British Airways is operating A318s with “steep approach” capability from the in-close London City Airport to New York's JFK International Airport. These aircraft are equipped for premium service with seats that convert into full lie-flat beds, along with OnAir connectivity for passengers.