Airbus predicts A320neo order activity to continue unabated

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Having garnered 30 firm orders and 272 commitments for the A320neo in its three months since launch, Airbus vice president of marketing Andy Shankland expects the speed of its backlog growth to continue.

"This level of order activity will continue in the future," says Shankland, whose comments came at the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Industry forecasts have suggested that Airbus could have as many as 500 to 1000 A320neo orders by the Paris air show in June, and Shankland's comments suggest that the European airframer could earn as many as 100 commitments per month.

Additionally, Shankland says Airbus expects the A320neo, with its choice of CFM Leap-X and Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engine, to allow production of the narrowbody - whose service life began in 1988 - to continue until at least 2030, extending its production run beyond four decades.

Shankland says he expects an overlap in production between the A320 and A320neo, which will enter service in 2016.

Virgin America has placed a firm order for 30 A320neos while TAM, IndiGo and International Lease Finance Corporation have signed MOUs for the type.