Airbus will increase the production rate of its popular A320 Family of eco-efficient single-aisle aircraft to 42 aircraft per month in the fourth quarter of 2012. Currently Airbus produces 36 A320 Family aircraft each month, a production rate that will steadily rise to 38 in August 2011 and to 40 in the first quarter of 2012. Currently the production rate for Airbus’ long-range A330 Family is 8.5 per month, increasing to nine in early 2012 and ten in the second quarter of 2013.
“The low operating costs and high dispatch reliability offered by the A320 Family make it the best seller in its market” said Tom Williams, Executive Vice President Programmes. “With a backlog of over 2,300 A320 Family aircraft to deliver, we need to increase production to accommodate continuing strong customer demand for these new eco-efficient aircraft”.
Airbus delivered a total of 510 aircraft in 2010, including 401 A320 Family aircraft. By the end of April, Airbus had already delivered 132 A320 Family aircraft and is well on track to exceed previous years’ deliveries.
To keep the A320 Family in the leadership position, Airbus has recently introduced a new engine option (neo) for the A320 Family which will enter into service in October 2015. The A320neo Family incorporates new more efficient engines and large "Sharklet" wing tip devices which together will deliver up to 15 percent in fuel savings. This will represent some 3,600 tonnes less CO2 per aircraft, per year. In addition, the A320neo will provide a double-digit reduction in NOx emissions and reduced engine noise, thus being a good neighbour at any airport where airlines will operate the aircraft.
The A320neo will have over 95 percent airframe commonality with the existing models making it an easy fit into existing fleets while offering up to 500 nautical miles (950 kilometres) more range or two tonnes more payload. Engines offered on the A320neo are CFM International’s LEAP-X and Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower PW1100G.
The A320 Family, which includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321, is recognized as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. Each aircraft features fly by wire controls and all share a unique cockpit and operational commonality across the range. Over 7,000 Airbus A320 Family aircraft have been sold and more than 4,600 delivered to almost 330 customers and operators worldwide, making it the world’s best selling commercial jetliner ever. With proven reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single aisle aircraft. Uniquely, the A320 Family offers a containerized cargo system, which is compatible with the worldwide standard wide-body system.