Airbus is getting ready for a major milestone in the history of its A320 family program, delivering the 4,000th unit.
Brazilian carrier TAM will receive the aircraft. The narrowbody is undergoing assembly now at Airbus’s Hamburg facility. TAM has placed orders for 114 A320 family aircraft (25 A319s, 75 A320s, and 14 A321s).
4,000...not bad for a program that, when it was launched, was built around a business case of around 600 units, which at the time many laughed at for being ridiculously optimistic.
Several more milestones are to come in coming years. At the end of April, Airbus had secured orders for 6,321 narrowbodies. Of those, 3,859 had been delivered to 227 operators.
Airbus officials believe they still have far to go, though. Production rates around current levels should see the 8,000th single-aisle be handed over to customers around 2019. That’s also about when Airbus says the A320 family replacement, the A30X, should start making it into customer hands. Presumably the business case for that program will assume a slightly higher sales rate.