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June 17, 2024
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The A320neo has been a very popular aircraft program.  Airbus has won 3,626 A320neo orders (over 5,000 neo models ordered) for the program since it was first offered.  How has the aircraft been doing in US service so far?  We looked at data on the US fleet.

Here is what we know about the number of flight hours of the nine US-based A320neos flying through January 25th 2017.

If you wanted to see one the best place is Denver, where (among the top 20 origin cities) 21% of all A320neo flights start.  The order and percentages are similar for destinations.

We did some calculations to see what aircraft performance looks like.

The results, so far, look basically even by airline and engine type.   The aircraft are flying about nine hours per day.  Typical flights are two hours and twenty minutes’ duration.  The fleet does about four flights per day.  Based on over 2,200 flights we think these data points are reliable guides.  The US-based A320neo fleet is doing its job.

author avatar
Addison Schonland
Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

2 thoughts on “A320neo – US experience through January 25, 2017

  1. Let’s try to compute a reasonable duration of the average a321 turn-around time. Curfewed time is seven hours from 23h:00 thru 06h:00 in the morning next day, so active time per each 24h is 17h. Reasonable schedule slack is two hours or you end up running to catch up with your schedule. The production equation therefore goes :

    n x FT + (n-1) x TAT = 24h – curfew – slack = 24 – 7 – 2 = 15h = 900′
    From Addison’s table above we read n = 3.8 flights per 24h, with flight time FT = 140′, so we get

    900′ = 3.8 x 140′ + (3.8 – 1) x TAT which gives us TAT = 131.4 minutes. If we round off n to 4 completed flights/24h we get

    TAT = [900 – 4 x 140]/3 = 113 minutes = one hour and fifty-three minutes !! Conclusion :

    FT or flight time is the time from push-back to parking brakes on/fasten seat-belts sign off, so airport TAXI-time is accounted for in Flight Time. Therefore TAT accounts for gate operations from parking brakes on/fasten seat-belts sign off for the arriving flight till push-back for the next departing flight. Obviously, TAT is the planning gate slot time for schedule purposes. The value we have computed is for a mix of A320 and A321, but probably mostly A321, oder.

    Amazingly, US airlines plan their schedules based on gate sot turn-around times of 113 minutes (on top of two full hours of schedule slack. To my own appraisal, this amounts to an incredibly low daily productivity. It unveils the truth behind SINGLE-AISLED TURN-AROUND CLUMSINESS ?! Because “normally” we should have

    900 = n x 140′ + (n – 1) x 50′ —-> n = 5 —-> five flights per each period of 24 hours ?

  2. From my previous little maths exercise we have established that “NO, Ernie, those A320 NEO Series are definitely NOT doing their job !” … So where’s the Cat-in-the-Sack ? Wherein goes “engine start-up times” ? We all know that US’ busier airports are severely plagued by excessive apron taxi times … we have assumed they went into ‘flight time’ because 140 minutes flight time could be slightly blown up, oder ? Gate slot turn-around times of one hour fifty + minutes, for heavens’ sake what a catastrophe ! SWA, RYR, EZY, NAX and the likes must be hilarious !

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