This week there has been a lot of activity around the A320neo family: three operators received their first aircraft of the family, Qatar Airways has been looking to convert its A320neo order to the A321neo, which also got its certification by the FAA and EASA.
Three airlines receive their first A320neo
The three operators that received their first aircraft of the most efficient single-aisle family are all based in Asia: HK Express, ANA and China Southern.
Hong Kong Express
The Hong Kong-based carrier has taken delivery of B-LCL (cn 7209) on the 12th of December. The aircraft is on lease from Norwegian’s Arctic Aviation Assets and is powered by Pratt & Whitney’s PW1127G engines. The aircraft features a 188-seat all-economy layout.
China Southern Airlines
China Southern has taken delivery of its first A320neo, B-8545 (cn 6975) yesterday, December 15. The delivery also made the airline the first in China to receive an aircraft of the neo family. The aircraft is powered by Pratt & Whitney’s PW1100G engines and features 166 seats in a three-class configuration.
All Nippon Airways
Also, ANA has become the first A320neo operator in Japan after taking delivery of JA211A (cn 7401) from Airbus yesterday, December 15. The aircraft is powered by two Pratt &a Whitney PW1127G engines and features 146 seats in a two-class configuration (8 in Business and 138 in Economy).
Qatar Airways is looking to convert its A320neo order
Qatar Airways is also looking to convert its order for A320neos to the largest version of the family, the A321neo, Akbar al Baker has revealed.
“We are in negotiations with Airbus about how we can continue our relationship and keep our order on track minus the ones that we cancelled,” he told Reuters.
He added that if a deal is to be struck, the Qatari carrier is ideally aiming for a 2018 delivery for the A321s of which they currently have sixteen on order from the European aircraft manufacturer.
The A321neo with P&W engines receives Type Certification
The P&W-equipped A321neo also got its type certification from both the EASA and the FAA following a comprehensive flight test programme.
The documents were respectively signed by EASA’s Certification Director Trevor Woods and by Jeffrey Duven, FAA Manager of the Transport Airplane Directorate – Aircraft Certification Service. Both certificates were handed over to Airbus Executive Vice President Programmes, Didier Evrard, and Airbus Senior Vice President A320 Family Programme, Klaus Roewe.
“The A321neo allows airlines to upsize their fleets while offering a winning combination of unbeatable economics and comfort. This aircraft contributes already some 40 per cent to our single aisle deliveries, and further growing,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO. ”Today’s certification is a rewarding tribute to all the teams who have been instrumental in making this essential milestone happen.”