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Introduction of Airbus A319neo
The shrunk version of the Airbus family, the so-called ‘game-changing’ A320neo (new engine option) product line. The Airbus A319neo is the smallest member of the A320neo Family. The aircraft performed its maiden flight in March 2017. With expanded seating capacity, optimized use of cabin space, and increased exit limits, the aircraft can accommodate 160 passengers without compromising comfort. The largest A319neo customer is Spirit Airlines.
Read more:- Airbus A319 – A Shrunken Version of A320
Profile of Airbus A319neo
The Airbus A319neo can accommodate 120-150 passengers in two classes (3 x3) configuration, which could be extended to 160 in a high-density layout with a range of up to 3,750 nautical miles. Like its predecessors, Airbus has continued the same legacy of focusing on fuel efficiency as the hallmark of its products in the global market.
The focus remained on Commonality
Due to its 95% commonality with the A320 Family, Airbus’ A319neo jetliner fits seamlessly into the current A320 Family fleets worldwide. A key factor in buying decisions for the company’s customers and operators. The A319neo provides minimum change with maximum benefit for the A320 by incorporating two new engine choices – the PurePower PW1100G-JM from Pratt & Whitney and the LEAP-1A CFM International.
The aircraft also has fuel-saving Sharklet wingtip devices. Moreover, it also shares a common type rating with other variants of the Airbus A320 Family, which allows existing A320 Family pilots to fly the aircraft without the need for further training. The fly-by-wire system has remained the common feature in this variant as well. The A319neo (new engine option) will replace the A319ceo (current engine option).
Why couldn’t Airbus A319neo make higher sales?
The story starts when Bombardier (Canada) was blockaded from selling their latest aircraft (CS100) in the USA. The company could not afford to retreat, so they turned to Airbus for help. In exchange for 51% of their CSeries lineup, Airbus offered to finish the product inside the US border and renamed it the A220. However, in doing so, Airbus created a problem for its own variants of A318 and A319 aircraft. Both of these aircraft were now posed at the risk of being cannibalized by the ‘more modern designs. Interestingly, the Airbus A220 surpassed the orders for A319neo, despite being launched before the A319neo.
Point of Consideration
While considering the basic features of these two aircraft, A319neo can carry more passengers than A220, but the latter has wider space than the former one. The A319neo also has a higher range than the A220. Then what are some things that have shifted the focus of the customers to the A220?
Pricing is one variable that caused the A319neo to lose its selling numbers in the global aviation market. The A319neo is more than 10 Million dollars expensive than the A220, which is one of the major reasons it lost its position in the commercial market.
A220-300 – US$ 89.5 million
A319neo – US$ 101.5 million
Some Comparative Sales Numbers
Similarly, while comparing 1,486 orders for the A319ceo and the 3,919 firm orders for the A320neo, it is clear that the A319neo has vastly underperformed other aircraft even within its own family when it comes to sales.
What the Future holds for A319neo?
As of now, the future of A319neo depends on multiple factors. First, the airlines using the A319ceo variant must be on the lookout for a replacement. The commonality factor is the best choice in hand with no additional training and maintenance costs. So it should be the first preference for the operators, but with the arrival of A220, the game seems to be changing otherwise. Although short hauls are now airlines’ preferences for buying the lesser, better compatibility wins the game.
Written by guest writer, Faisal Bashir