Airbus A320neo family

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A320neo family
A twin-engined jet aircraft with distinctive winglets, in blue and white livery, against a blue sky
An IndiGo A320neo, the largest operator, about to land
Role Narrow-body twin-engine jet airliner
National origin Multi-national
Manufacturer Airbus
First flight 25 September 2014
Introduction 25 January 2016 with Lufthansa[1]
Status In service
Primary users IndiGo
Pegasus Airlines
Scandinavian Airlines
Produced 2012–present[2]
Number built 202 as of 30 November 2017[3]
Program cost "slightly more than €1 billion [$1.3 billion]" predicted in 2010[4]
Unit cost
A319neo: US$99.5 million, approx. 94.5 million (2017)[5]
A320neo: US$108.4 million, approx. €103.0 million (2017)[5]
A321neo: US$127.0 million, approx. €120.6 million (2017)[5]
Developed from Airbus A320 family

The Airbus A320neo family is a development of the A320 family of narrow-body airliners, launched on 1 December 2010 by Airbus. They are essentially a re-engine; neo stands for new engine option, with a choice of CFM International LEAP-1A or Pratt & Whitney PW1000G engines.[6] The original family is now called A320ceo, for current engine option.

The first flight of the A320neo took place on 25 September 2014.[7] It was introduced by Lufthansa on 25 January 2016.[1] Airbus has 5,254 firm orders as of November 2017.[3]

Design and development[edit]

A320 Enhanced (A320E) and A320neo sharklet detail at ILA 2012

At launch in December 2010, Airbus forecast a 4,000 aircraft market over the following 15 years and development costs were predicted to be "slightly more than €1 billion [$1.3 billion]".[4] The neo list price would be $6 million more than the ceo, including $3.5 million for airframe modifications and around $0.9 million for the sharklets.[4] The A320neo was stated for service entry in spring 2016, the A321neo six months later and the A319neo again six months after.[4] The A320neo and A321neo flew around 4,000h for both powerplant versions certification.[8] This is about three-quarters of the certification effort of a new design.[9]

A320 improvements[edit]

In 2006 Airbus started the A320 Enhanced (A320E) programme as a series of improvements targeting a 4–5% efficiency gain with large winglets (2%), aerodynamic refinements (1%), weight savings and a new aircraft cabin.[10] At the time Airbus' Chief Operating Officer and executive member John Leahy said "Who's going to roll over a fleet to a new generation aircraft for 5% better than an A320 today? Especially if another 10% improvement might be coming in the second half of the next decade based on new engine technology".[10]

Engine improvements reducing fuel consumption by 1% were fitted into the A320 in 2007 with the CFM56 Tech Insertion[11] and in 2008 with the V2500Select (One).[12]


Airbus launched the sharklet blended wingtip device during the November 2009 Dubai Airshow. Installation adds 200 kilograms (440 lb) but offers a 3.5% fuel burn reduction on flights over 2,800 km (1,500 nmi).[13] Manufactured by Korean Air Aerospace Division, the 2.5 metres (8 ft 2 in) tall devices permits an annual carbon dioxide reduction of 700 tonnes per aircraft.[14] The winglets increase efficiency by decreasing lift-induced drag.

In December 2011, Airbus filed suit in the western district of Texas over Aviation Partners' claims of infringement of its patents on winglet design and construction which were granted in 1993. Airbus' lawsuit seeks to reject responsibility to pay royalties to Aviation Partners for using its designs, despite work performed together with both parties to develop advanced winglets for the A320neo.[15]

The first Sharklet-equipped A320 was delivered to AirAsia on 21 December 2012, offering a 450 kg (990 lb) payload increase or 100 nmi (190 km) longer range at the original payload.[16]


Virgin America Airbus A320 Enhanced economy class cabin with LED lighting

The new aircraft cabin offers a more modern look and feel, a new air purifier with filters and a catalytic converter removing unpleasant smells from the air before it is pumped into the cabin and light-emitting diodes for ambience lighting and passenger service unit.[17] It offers better and larger luggage storage.[18] The flight crew controls the cabin through touchscreen displays.[19]

The new "Space-Flex" optional cabin configuration increases space-efficiency by a new rear galley configuration and a "Smart-Lav" modular lavatory design – allowing an in-flight change of two lavatories into one accessible toilet.[20] This allows up to 9 more passengers for the A320neo,[21] and up to 20 more passengers for the A321neo without "putting more sardines in the can" with the larger "Cabin-Flex" modified exits described below.[22]

New Engine Option[edit]

At the February 2010 Singapore Air Show, Airbus said its decision to launch was scheduled for the July 2010 Farnborough Air Show.[23] It still wasn't decided in August but the choice for new engines included the CFM International LEAP-1A and the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G.[24] Though the new engines will burn 16% less fuel, the actual fuel efficiency gain on an A320 installation will be slightly lower since 1–2% is typically lost upon installation on an existing aircraft and Airbus was comfortable with the 20% lower maintenance cost projections for the Pratt & Whitney's PW1000G compared with today's engines.[24]

On 1 December 2010, Airbus launched the A320neo "New Engine Option" with an additional range of 500 nmi (950 km) or 2 t (4,400 lb) of extra payload, planning to deliver 4,000 over 15 years.[6] Initially scheduled for spring 2016, introduction was advanced to October 2015.[25] Airbus announces a 15% fuel saving thanks to those latest-generation engines and large sharklet wingtip devices, keeping over 95% airframe commonality with the current A320.[26]

In March 2013, airlines' choices between the two engines were almost equal.[27] Its commonality helped to reduce delays associated with large changes.[28] A rearranged cabin allows up to 20 more passengers[29] enabling in total over 20% lower fuel consumption per seat.[21] The first Airbus A320neo rolled out of the Toulouse factory on 1 July 2014 and first flight was scheduled to September 2014.[30]

Flight testing[edit]

Its first flight occurred on 25 September 2014.[31] Its Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM geared turbofan engine was certified by the Federal Aviation Administration on 19 December 2014.[32]

The A320neo is half as loud than an A320 at take-off with a 85 decibel noise footprint.[33] The LEAP powered A321neo has 83.3 dB flyover noise, substantially lower than the older CFM56 and V2500.[34]

After 36 months, 4,000 hours have been flown: 2,250 with PW GTFs and 1,770 with CFM LEAPs. The flight-test programme will conclude in 2018 with the completion of the A319neo testing. The programme is 75% of what would be done on a new design as the changes impacts flying qualities, performance and system integration, necessitating to retune the fly-by-wire controls and meet type certification requirements which have evolved since 1988, and helped decrease the minimum V speeds. The Neo is a 1.8 t heavier than the Ceo but take-off and landing performance is the same with a modified rotation law, adjusted wing flaps and wing slats angles and rudder deflection increased by 5° to cope with the higher thrust.[35]


First delivery slipped to early 2016.[36] Lufthansa has taken delivery of the first A320neo on 20 January 2016.[37] Two hundred deliveries are targeted in 2017, but as Pratt & Whitney faces ramp-up difficulties, 30 aircraft should be produced waiting for engines. The fourth and latest final assembly line in Hamburg should open in July 2017 and 60 A320s should be produced monthly from 2019.[38]

With 90 A320neos delivered by October 2017, Airbus acknowledged that it won't attain the 200 target, even with many deliveries in the fourth quarter: more than 40 A320neos are parked without engines, but with most of the engine issues resolved by early 2018, more than half of the A320s delivered this following year should be Neos.[39]


Airbus offers three variants of the A320neo family: the A319, A320 and A321. A New Engine Option for the Airbus A318 is not expected but can be developed if needed.[40]


Qatar Airways was originally scheduled to be the launch operator of this shortened fuselage variant.[41] It upgraded its order to the larger A320neo in late 2013.[42] No new launch operator has been named since.

It made its first flight on 31 March 2017, powered by LEAP Engines but PW Engines are also available.[43]


Lufthansa Airbus A320neo

Lufthansa is the launch operator of this standard variant.[44] The first A320neo rolled out of the Airbus factory in Toulouse on 1 July 2014.[45] It first flew on 25 September 2014.[7] A joint type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration was received on 24 November 2015.[46]

Nearly 28 years after the first A320, on 25 January 2016, the A320neo entered service with Lufthansa, the type's launch customer.[1] Six months later at Farnborough Airshow, John Leahy reported that the eight in-service aircraft had achieved 99.7% dispatch reliability.[47] After a year in service, Lufthansa confirmed the 20% efficiency gain per passenger with up to 180 seats, along with reduced noise and CO2 emissions.[33]

By the end of February 2017, 28,105 scheduled flights had been performed by 71 A320neo aircraft with 134 cancellations for a 99.5% completion rate.[48] Spirit faces Pratt & Whitney PW1000G issues on four of its five A320neos and don't fly them above 30,000 ft because the bleed air system froze shut on occasion due to cold temperatures, the same problem facing IndiGo.[49]

By March 2017, 88 A320neos had been delivered to 20 airlines, 49 with the PW1000G and 39 with the CFM International LEAP-1A, and the fleet had accumulated more than 57,600 flight hours and 37,500 cycles (1.5h average); over 142 routes the average stage length is 900 nm and like the A320ceo the neo flies an average of 8.4 block hours and up to 10 cycles a day with Lufthansa operating 45 min. sectors from Frankfurt to Hamburg or Munich to China Southern Airlines flying close to 6 hr sectors.[50] Operators confirm the 15% per seat fuel-burn savings even counterbalanced by the added weight on short sectors, which can rise to 16–17% on longer routes and to 20% or more for Lufthansa with 180 passengers up from 168 with two more seat rows; and Airbus plans to deliver about 200 A320neos in 2017.[50]


An A321neo prototype in flight

This lengthened fuselage variant have structural strengthening in the landing gear and wing, increased wing loading and other minor modifications due to higher MTOW.

Its first customer is ILFC.[51] The Airbus A321neo prototype, D-AVXB, first flew on 9 February 2016.[52] It suffered a tailstrike three days later and was flown to Toulouse for repairs, delaying the certification programme for several weeks.[53]

It received its type certification with Pratt & Whitney engines on 15 December 2016,[54] and simultaneous EASA and FAA certification for the CFM Leap powered variant on 1 March 2017.[55] The first A321neo, leased by GECAS, was delivered in Hamburg to Virgin America configured with 184 seats and LEAP engines and entered service in May 2017. All leased from the same lessor, five A321neos should be delivered to Virgin in 2017 and five in 2018 if its buyer Alaska Airlines keeps two fleet types.[56]

The neo empty weight is 1.8t heavier than the ceo due to new engines and associated airframe modifications : engine pylons, wing structure and bleed and oil systems were adapted. At the same maximum weight, It reaches FL310 30-nm before and 4 min earlier than the CEO.[9]

At FL330 (10 000 m), ISA –2 °C and 67 t (148,000 lb), it burns 2,200 kilograms per hour (4,850 lb/h) at Mach 0.76 / 501 knots (928 km/h) long-range cruise or 2,440 kg/h (5,400 lb/h) at Mach 0.80 / 527 knots (976 km/h) high-speed cruise. To offer similar takeoff performance, pitch response to stick input is a rate-command to hit the 3°/sec rotation rate to capture the right pitch attitude and there is an "electronic tail bumper" preventing a tail-strike if the stick is less than three-quarters of the way aft; additional thrust, slower rotation and lift-off speeds require more rudder authority and its maximum deflection went from 25° to 30°.[8]

Delivery delays[edit]

As Pratt & Whitney encountered early reliability issues with the PW1100G, retrofitting fixes is affecting the deliveries. Cebu Pacific was due to add its first three A321neos to its 40 A320 by the end of 2017 but agreed to postpone them and Airbus will deliver seven A321ceos in 2018, starting in March, to upgauge A320s routes from slot-constrained Manila Airport and will redeploy some of its international A330s to shorter-haul routes. Air New Zealand has at least seven A321neo in 13 A320-family orders, increase seating capacity by 27% over A320ceos currently used on short-haul international routes, mainly to Australia; these NEO will be delayed until July 2018 for the A320neos and September 2018 for the A321neos with a new, higher density and some A320ceo leases will be extended for the interim.[57]

Hawaiian Airlines' first two A321neos should have been delivered in 2017 before its upcoming winter peak season but will be introduced in early 2018, a “frustrating” and “irritating” delay, with another nine in 2018, mostly in the first half : they are intended to open up thinner routes to the U.S. mainland not viable with its wide-body aircraft, like Portland IAP to Maui International Airport, or better matched and allowing two routes to be expanded to daily service instead of seasonal, bypassing its Honolulu Airport hub, like half of the A321neo fleet; they will replace its last eight Boeing 767, intended for retirement by the end of 2018, leaving more than half of its 18 A321neos order for fleet growth, and free up some A330s to be redeployed to international markets around the Pacific Rim.[57]

Cabin Flex[edit]

By deleting the second door pair in front of the wing and with a second overwing exit, the capacity is augmented from 221 seats to 240 and fuel efficiency per seat is increased by 6%, exceeding 20% together with the new engines and the sharklets.[21] The modifications should weigh 100 kg more.[58] Initial A321neos have the A321ceo exit door configuration with four exit doors pairs before the Airbus Cabin-Flex (ACF) layout can be selected.[59]

The third door pair, aft of the wings, will move four frames back and could be plugged for 195 seats or less, and one overwing exit can be plugged for 165 seats or less.[60] In October 2017, the first A321neo ACF was in final assembly in Hamburg.[61] It should be delivered in Q2 2018 and the optional layout will become the A321neo default from 2020.[62]


In October 2014, Airbus started marketing a 164-seat, 97 t (214,000 lb) maximum takeoff weight variant with three auxiliary fuel tanks called the A321neoLR (Long Range) with 100 nm more operational range than a Boeing 757-200 configured with 169 seats, 27% lower trip costs and 24% lower per seat costs; it is scheduled for introduction in the second half of 2018, two years after the A321neo.[63]

Airbus launched the A321LR on 13 January 2015 with Air Lease Corporation as the launch customer, hoping to sell 1,000 examples of the variant.[64] The initial layout of 164 seats (20 in business, 30 in premium economy and 114 in economy) was replaced by a two-class 206-seat configuration (16 in business and 190 in economy) and range is 4,000 nmi (7,400 km), 500 nmi (930 km) farther than the regular 93.5t MTOW A321.[58] The A321LR is taking the place of the B757 in the middle of the market.[65] The A321LR will have the Cabin Flex layout and should be first delivered in Q4 2018.[62]

Orders and deliveries[edit]

The A320neo family received over 2,000 orders in a little over two years following launch in December 2010, making it the fastest selling commercial aircraft in history.[66][67] By May 2017 it had 5,052 orders : 49 A319neos (1%), 3,617 A320neos (72%) and 1,386 A321neos (27%), with 1,712 of them powered by CFM LEAPs (34%), 1,429 by PW GTFs (28%) and 1,911 undisclosed (38%).[35]

A320neo orders and deliveries (as of 30 November 2017)[68]
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Total
Orders A319neo 26 19 2 3 5 1 51
A320neo 30 1,081 378 387 824 583 343 131 3,707
A321neo 119 81 341 183 301 363 53 1,496
Total 30 1,226 478 728 1,009 887 711 185 5,254
Deliveries A319neo
A320neo 68 121 189
A321neo 13 13
Total 68 134 202

Cumulative A320neo family orders and deliveries (as of 30 November 2017)[68]




Virgin America became the launch customer with a firm order of 30 A320neo aircraft as a part of a 60 aircraft order on 17 January 2011.[69] IndiGo ordered 150 aircraft.[70][71] At the Paris Air Show 2011, Airbus confirmed orders from GECAS, Scandinavian Airlines, TransAsia Airways, IndiGo, LAN Airlines, AirAsia and GoAir.[72] Airbus also received commitments for 83 A320neo aircraft from Air Lease Corporation and Avianca. The A320neo gathered 667 commitments at the 2011 Paris Air Show for a 1,029 units backlog since its launch, making it the best selling airliner of commercial aviation.[73] 200 aircraft were ordered by Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia, which was hailed as the largest-ever deal in Airbus history.[74][75]

On July 20, 2011, American Airlines announced an order for 460 narrowbody jets including 130 A320ceos and 130 A320neos, and intended to order 100 re-engined 737 with CFM LEAPs, pending Boeing confirmation.[76] The order broke Boeing's monopoly with the airline and forced Boeing into the re-engined 737 MAX.[77] As this sale included a Most-Favoured-Customer Clause, the European airframer must refund any price difference to American if it sells to another airline at a lower price, so Airbus can't give a competitive price to competitor United Airlines, leaving it with a Boeing-skewed fleet.[78]

Lufthansa became the aircraft's first German customer, ordering 30 examples.[79] The Dubai Airshow in November 2011 saw a further total of 130 orders and 105 commitments by several customers. On 25 January 2012, Norwegian and Airbus confirmed an order of 100 A320neos.[80]


In November 2012 Virgin America deferred the deliveries of the A320neo aircraft until 2020, making ILFC the new launch customer along with the A321neo.[81] In December 2012 Pegasus Airlines, the second largest airline in Turkey, signed a deal for up to 100 A320neo family aircraft, of which 75 (57 A320neo and 18 A321neo models) are firm orders.[82]


Lufthansa ordered an additional 70 A320neo and A321neo aircraft in March 2013.[83] easyJet, who already operates 195 A320ceo family aircraft, intends to acquire 100 Airbus A320neo for delivery between 2017 and 2022. As part of the deal, easyJet have options on a further 100 A320neo aircraft, and the Japanese carrier ANA is to order the A320neo and A321neo.[84] Lion Air ordered 183.


On 15 October 2014 IndiGo signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Airbus for purchasing 250 A320neo family aircraft. The deal would be worth over $25.5 billion as per the list price per aircraft. This order will also be the largest by the airline, marking the largest number of jets ever sold by the European planemaker in a single order. The airline had earlier ordered 100 aircraft in 2005 and another 180 aircraft in 2011.[85]


On November 15 2017 Airbus announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Indigo Partners' four portfolio airlines for 430 A320neo family aircraft - a deal worth nearly $50 billion.[86] On December 14 2017 Delta Air Lines announced an order for 100 A321neo aircraft and 100 options, powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100Gs.[87]


A Lufthansa Airbus A320neo taking off from Frankfurt Airport, Lufthansa was the A320neo family launch customer.
A Virgin America A321neo taxiing at New York-JFK Airport. Virgin America was the A321neo launch customer.[88]

As of 30 September 2017, 158 Airbus A320neo family aircraft were in service with 30 operators,[3] with IndiGo operating the largest A320neo fleet of 24 aircraft.[3]


Airbus family figures[89]
Variant A319neo A320neo A321neo
Cockpit crew Two
2-class seats 140 165 206 (16 J @ 36 in + 190 Y @ 30 in)[58]
1-class maximum 160 195[90] @ 27 in[91] 240 @ 28 in[22]
Seat width Economy at 6 abreast: 18 in (46 cm)[22]
Cargo capacity 27 m³ (976 ft³) 37 m³ (1,322 ft³) 51 m³ (1,828 ft³)[a]
Length 33.84 m (111 ft) 37.57 m (123 ft 3 in) 44.51 m (146 ft)
Wingspan 35.80 m (117 ft 5 in)
Height 11.76 m (38 ft 7 in)
Cabin width 3.7 m (12 ft 1 in)
Max. takeoff weight 75.5 t (166,400 lb) 79 t (174,200 lb) 97 t (213,800 lb)[b]
Max. landing weight 63.9 t (140,900 lb) 67.4 t (148,600 lb) 79.2 t (174,600 lb)
Max. zero-fuel weight 60.3 t (132,900 lb) 64.3 t (141.800 lb) 75.6 t (166,700 lb)
Operating empty 50.8 t (112,000 lb)[8]
Jet fuel capacity 26,730 l (7,060 USg) 26,730 l (7,060 USg) 32,940 l (8,700 USg)[c]
Engines (×2) CFM International LEAP-1A or Pratt & Whitney PW1100G[93]
Fan diameter PW1100G: 81 in (206 cm),[94] LEAP-1A: 78 in (198 cm)[95]
Thrust 106.8–107.8 kN
24,000–24,200 lbf[96][97]
120.4–120.6 kN
27,100–27,100 lbf[96][97]
143.1–147.3 kN
32,200–33,100 lbf[96][97]
Maximum speed Mach 0.82 (473 kn; 876 km/h)[8]
Cruising speed Mach 0.78 (450 kn; 833 km/h)[93]
Ceiling 39,000 ft (12,000 m)[8]
Typical range 6,950 km / 3,750 nmi[d] 6,500 km / 3,500 nmi[e] 6,500 km / 3,500 nmi
LR: 7,400 km / 4,000 nmi [f]
Takeoff 1,988 m (6,522 ft)[8]
ICAO Type[101] A19N A20N A21N


Type certificate[90]
Aircraft model designation Engines Type certification date Take-off thrust Maximum continuous thrust
A320-271N PW1127G-JM 24 November 2015 12043 daN (27075 lb) 11718 daN (26345 lb)
A320-251N CFM LEAP-1A26 31 May 2016 12064 daN (27120 lb) 11868 daN (26680 lb)
A321-271N PW1133G-JM 15 December 2016 14728 daN (33110 lb) 14581 daN (32780 lb)
A321-251N CFM LEAP-1A32 1 March 2017 14305 daN (32160 lb) 14096 daN (31690 lb)
A321-253N CFM LEAP-1A33 3 March 2017 14305 daN (32160 lb) 14096 daN (31690 lb)

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


  1. ^ no Additional Centre Tank
  2. ^ A321LR, A321: 93.5 t (206,100 lb)[58]
  3. ^ A321LR with 3 Additional Centre Tank, no ACT: 23,700 l (6,261 Us gal)[92]
  4. ^ with 140 passengers, with 124 : 7,750km / 4,200nmi[98]
  5. ^ with 165 passengers, with 150 : 6,850km / 3,700nmi[99]
  6. ^ A321LR with 206 passengers, A321: 6,500 km / 3,500 nmi,[58] with 185 passengers: 6,850km / 3,700nmi[100]


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External links[edit]

Media related to Airbus A320neo at Wikimedia Commons