Last Two Years Have Been VERY Good To Narrowbody Twinjet
Airbus has reached a significant landmark -- recently earning its
5,000th order for an A320-family aircraft.
In the last two years alone, the A320 Family has received orders
for around 1,600 aircraft, making it not only the best-selling but
also the fastest-selling jet airliner of all time. The 5,000th
order was reached with the sale of 30 A319 aircraft to US-based
customer Spirit Airlines.
(Editor's Note: An alert ANN reader pointed
out Boeing also claims the "best-selling title" for its 737
narrowbody, which has been in production some 20 years longer than
the A320. In its claim, Airbus considers today's 'Next Generation'
737 a separate airliner from the earlier, "Classic" series 737s.
The entire 737 family has over 6,100 orders.)
"The 5,000th order of our A320 aircraft family marks an historic
milestone for Airbus and the aviation industry", commented Airbus
Chief Executive Officer, Louis Gallois. "The A320 is without a
doubt the world's most popular passenger aircraft, having outsold
any other single-generation aircraft program. In addition, the
program goes from strength to strength, with the continuing high
level of orders giving Airbus an unprecedented backlog of more than
2,000 single-aisle aircraft. It will fill our production lines for
many years to come."
To match the strong demand for its A320 Family, Airbus has
decided to implement a steady production ramp-up. The monthly
production rate was increased from 30 aircraft per month at the end
of 2006, to its current rate of 32 per month and is scheduled to
rise to 36 by the end of 2008. This will represent the highest
production rate ever for any commercial airliner.
Airbus touts the A320 family as the most modern design of any
single-aisle aircraft, and the most economical aircraft in its
class. With the widest cabin in its class, the A320 Family also
offers passengers more space, comfort and overhead stowage volume
than Boeing's 737.
Unique in its class,
the Airbus A320 Family also delivers many features as standard --
such as a weight-saving composite primary structure, a choice of
engines and auxiliary power units, and a fuel-saving aerodynamic
design. The A320 was the first airliner to have fly-by-wire
controls, giving the highest degree of operational commonality both
within the A320 Family and with other Airbus fly-by-wire types.
This gives airlines greater flexibility in pilot scheduling,
helping them to achieve greater productivity and cost savings.
Firm orders for Airbus single-aisle aircraft now stand at 5,016
aircraft. The Airbus A320 Family has been ordered by, or is in
service with, more than 200 customers and operators worldwide and
has completed 30 million flight cycles and 50 million flight