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A320NEO

Airbus Final Assembly Co., Ltd. in Tianjin, China,  starts assembly of its first A320neo in July and plans to deliver it to an Asian customer in September 2017.  The Chinese plant, a joint venture between Airbus and Chinese partners based in the Tianjin Free Trade zone, has delivered more than 300 A320 aircraft since it went into operation in 2008.

Last year Airbus delivered 153 aircraft to Chinese operators, making this its seventh consecutive year of over 100 annual deliveries.  The 2016 deliveries included 141 aircraft in the A320 family and 12 of the A330 family. In 2017, Airbus’ Tianjin plant plans to assemble four A320neo aircraft per month.

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.

Continue reading

Spirit Airlines accepted the first A320neo delivery in the United States with an aircraft on lease from AerCap. This is the first of five scheduled deliveries, with four additional options for Spirit.

Ted Christie, Spirit’s Chief Financial Officer stated “ The state-of-the-art technology will burn less fuel and lower our operational costs. We continue to lead the industry in both reducing our carbon footprint and providing ultra-low fares on air travel. Spirit is thrilled to be the first carrier to bring this innovation to the U.S.”

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The A320neo provides the combination of a mature airframe with new technology engines, providing benefits of new technology while minimizing changes to the airframe, providing benefits in commonality and maintenance costs. The A320neo has about a one year lead over its competitor, the Boeing 737 MAX, due to enter service in the third quarter of 2017.

Spirit chose the Pratt & Whitney PurePower 1100G… Continue reading

There has been a steady flow of news about A320neo program delivery delays.  So far, these have all been directed at the P&W GTF engine.  P&W has explained to us that the issue is minor and a fix is being implemented.  A number of GTF powered neos have been delivered and are, as far as we know, doing what they are meant to do.

Then yesterday, Reuters reported news about the hydraulics.  This is an Airbus issue, not an engine issue.  As one can see from the linked story, the source of the compliant is a familiar one.

Then Reuters added that the LEAP engine is also being modified. We contacted Reuters to ask about this and were told that CFM provided an explanation that it is re-blading the LPC which may or may not be related to an issue found in tests (CFM says not, just an enhancement).… Continue reading

The two big engine makers in the single aisle market now are more easily compared as more data emerges.  Both firms have to file documents with the US FAA.  This information provides an insight we have not seen to date.  The CFM LEAP data can be seen here (E00089EN_Rev_1) and the P&W GTF data can be seen here (E00087EN_Rev2).  For data on the CFM56 look here (E37NE_Rev_13) and the on the V2550 look here (E40NE_Rev_10). The documents make interesting reading.

The table summarizes some key numbers. Continue reading

Yesterday in Toulouse, at Airbus’ Delivery Center, India’s IndiGo took delivery of its first A320neo.  The aircraft arrives in India today.  The initial delays in deliveries means the remainder of the airline’s orders will come rapidly.  Its second A320neo delivery  comes next week.

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Airbus says from this month it will deliver 24 A320neo aircraft to IndiGo over the next twelve months.  The airline has 250 A320neos on order.  We understand the airline’s management concerns with the GTF engine have been allayed.
The delivery was good news for the airline.  Its holding company share price jumped over 5% yesterday.  With these new aircraft in place, the assumption is that IndiGo’s plans to grow its capacity this year can be met. During last year Indian domestic passenger traffic grew by 21%, and IndiGo’s traffic  increased by 35.5%.  IndiGo has also leased additional A320ceos to ensure its growth plans stay on track.
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