Airbus believes that it is only half way through the production life of the A320 family as it predicts that deliveries of the twinjet could ultimately reach 8,000 aircraft towards the end of the next decade.
Airbus has delivered 3,470 A320 family aircraft since the first in 1988, and has a further 2,668 orders on firm backlog. 914 aircraft were sold last year and production is sold out through 2011/12 as output rises to 40 a month from 2010.
“We expect to see the 5,000th delivery in 2011, the 7,000th in 2016/17 and potentially even 8,000 aircraft coming out of this family over the next eight-to-ten year period,” says Airbus vice president marketing Colin Stuart. “That suggests that we’re only at the mid-life of the product.”
This indicates that the airframer expects to sell at least 2,000 more A320 family aircraft before any new generation single-aisle Airbus becomes available.
According to Stuart, Airbus is spending €100 million ($156 million) every year for the development of the current single-aisle family.
“We are continually putting technology into the aircraft, such as new avionics, systems and improvements from the powerplant manufacturers,” he says.