Opinion: Airbus’s A320neo Validates Early Dreams
Success has trumped the severe skepticism that greeted the nascent Airbus and its offerings.
A version of this article appears in the August 4 edition of Aviation Week & Space Technology.
Contrary to what most public relations firms recommend, Airbus has chosen to downplay the debut of the A320neo (New Engine Option). No official ceremony was staged, unlike the presentation—with Hollywood-style hoopla—for the debut of the A320 in 1987. Of course the A320neo is not an all-new commercial transport, but it does mark the first time that the European manufacturer has secured more than 3,000 firm orders for an aircraft—before it even takes to the air.
Since the initial program’s launch in 1984, 10,504 A320-series twinjets have been sold, and today the backlog is a record 4,372. An increase in the production rate from 42 to 50 or more per month is being pondered.
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