American Airlines’ milestone A320 Family order marks a key win in the U.S. market, where Airbus’ single-aisle jetliners already have established themselves as workhorse aircraft in daily service on short- and medium-haul routes.
With this new firm contract – covering 260 A319s, A320s and A321s – American Airlines will become one of the world’s largest operators of the A320 Family, with half of these aircraft being the New Engine Option (neo) versions.
American Airlines joins other U.S.-based carriers and leasing companies that have ordered and/or operate some 2,400 A320 Family jetliners, including Air Lease Corporation, Aviation Capital Group, CIT, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, GECAS, ILFC, jetBlue Airways, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America.
Many of these customers have acquired more than one version from the A318, A319 A320 and A321 product line, taking advantage of the high commonality and interoperability offered only by Airbus’ fly-by-wire aircraft family.
The U.S. also is a market for Airbus widebody aircraft, where the A330, A340 and A350 XWB have been ordered by airlines and leasing companies.
Not only are these jetliners carrying millions of passengers on flights operated by U.S. airlines, the production of such aircraft for Airbus’ worldwide customer base provides a major – and expanding – source of business for suppliers across the country. Airbus is the U.S. aerospace industry’s no. 1 export customer, with several hundred suppliers in more than 40 states providing goods and services that range from fasteners to engines and complete fuselage sections – supporting more than 180,000 jobs.
As Airbus’ order book expands and its jetliner production rates rise, U.S. industry is benefiting from this increased activity. Airbus has spent approximately $100 billion in procurement with U.S. industry from 1990 through now.
The opportunities for current and future suppliers will grow significantly as the Airbus sourcing volume for U.S. companies is expected to increase from 2010 to 2020, driven by the ramp-up in its jetliner production rates and the introduction of new aircraft versions.