For a program that had a business case of around 650 units, Airbus can rightly celebrate delivering the 4,000th aircraft in the program to TAM. The A319, powered by IAE V2500s, is now handed over.
The timing is interesting, just in advance of the World Trade Organization's ruling on large commercial aircraft subsidies. The A320 family has been often held up by Airbus as showing why the spending by governments isn't a subsidy, but an investment -- they note that the governments get royalty payments on each aircraft.
The issue is, of course, more complex than that -- it's about launch risk and other criteria -- but on the A320, it is certainly true the governments that put money in certainly have gotten a good return on investment.
Airbus has another few milestone celebrations ahead of it on the single-aisle, with 6,418 total orders booked for the aircraft family. And with the A30X replacement still on the drawing board, and potentially not entering service until 2020 or later, we could easily see 8,000 A320s built.