The worldâ€™s most popular single-aisle aircraft, the A320 Family, has achieved over 50 million take offs and landings since the first model, the A320, entered commercial service in 1988. Over this period, A320 Family aircraft have carried in excess of five billion people. With ten take-offs every minute, they have become a familiar sight at airports and in our skies.
â€œOne of our A320 Family aircraft takes off every six seconds somewhere around the world and they have carried more than five billion people, which is a huge achievementâ€, said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. â€œWe are investing at least 100 million euros a year in the A320 Family in order to maintain it as the worldâ€™s most modern and fuel efficient aircraft family that will continue to bring people together for the decades to comeâ€.
The A320 Family has firmly established itself as market leader with all kinds of airlines, such as low cost, network or charter operators and in all regions of the world. Painted in some 250 different airline colours, A320 Family aircraft can be found 365 days a year at the worldâ€™s busiest and largest airport hubs. There are ten operators today with more than 100 A320 Family aircraft in their fleets. In contrast, A320 Family aircraft also operate at smaller airports and even in some of the most remote areas of the globe such as the Kingdom of Bhutan in the Eastern Himalayas thanks to their unique versatility.
This aviation success story can be partly attributed to Airbusâ€™ 100 million euro annual investment that keeps the A320 Family technology state of the art, maintaining it as the most fuel efficient and modern aircraft family in its category.
One illustration of the A320 continuous improvements are the new fuel-saving Sharklet wing tip devices launched by Airbus at the end of 2009. These devices will enhance the eco-efficiency and payload-range performance of the A320 Family even further and are expected to reduce the fuel consumption by at least 3.5 per cent over longer sectors. This corresponds to an annual CO2 reduction of around 700 tonnes per aircraft. Starting with the A320, the Sharklets will be available as an option on A320 Family models from the end of 2012.