This handover involved a Sharklet-equipped A320 received by Air Arabia during a ceremony at Airbus’ Hamburg, Germany facilities – home to one of three A320 Family final assembly sites worldwide. The jetliner is the 37th A320 Family aircraft received by Air Arabia, a leading low cost-carrier in the Middle East and North Africa regions.
Since the A320’s service entry in 1988, ongoing improvements to the A320 Family developed by Airbus – including engine enhancements, aerodynamic refinements such as the incorporation of Sharklets, and upgrades to its widest-in-class passenger cabin – have resulted in the world’s best-selling and most modern single-aisle product line, with more than 10,200 aircraft ordered to date.
In addition, the company is continuing to apply innovations to the A320 Family with the A320neo (new engine option) – which has captured some 60 per cent market share ahead of its 2015 service entry. These jetliners share 95 per cent commonality with current engine option (CEO) aircraft, while incorporating two new powerplant choices – CFM International’s LEAP-1A and the PurePower PW1100G-JM from Pratt & Whitney – along with Sharklets wingtip devices as standard equipment.
Composed of the A318, A319, A320 and A321, this single-aisle product line has established itself with leading airlines, low-cost carriers, governments and VIP operators around the world. These jetliners have been used on services that cover everything from very short-haul airline routes to intercontinental segments, on operations from in-city airports to high-altitude airfields, for charter and special missions with the most discerning passengers – and even service to an Antarctic ice runway.
As a result of the A320 Family’s continued popularity in performing these missions, Airbus recently announced the planned steady ramp-up in single-aisle production from the current rate of 42 jetliners produced per month to 46 aircraft monthly – which will be reached in the second quarter of 2016.