Airbus is likely to take A320-family deliveries into five figures around the first quarter of 2021, after it handed over its 9,000th example to UK budget carrier EasyJet earlier this month.
The airframer has cut to fewer than 600 days the time to deliver 1,000 of the single-aisle jets. Its 8,000th delivery took place at the end of January last year.
Airbus is continuing to ramp up A320-family production and intends to achieve a monthly rate of 63 aircraft in 2021. This progression indicates that the 10,000th delivery is likely to take place early in the same year.
EasyJet’s latest aircraft (G-UZLG) is an A320neo, powered by CFM International Leap-1A engines.
Owing to sequencing differences between assembly and delivery, the aircraft bears manufacturer’s serial number MSN9105.
MSN9000 is allocated to a Turkish Airlines A321neo (TC-LSL) currently scheduled for delivery in mid-October.
Airbus delivered the first A320 on 26 March 1988 and it reached its 4,500th delivery – halfway to 9,000 – on 15 December 2010, according to its backlog records, when aircraft were handed over to Air Arabia and Zest Airways.
While it took close to 23 years to deliver these first 4,500 single-aisle jets, the subsequent 4,500 only needed eight years and nine months.
The interval between the 5,000th and 6,000th deliveries was around 25 months, and a similar period elapsed between the 6,000th and 7,000th.
But as A320neo production momentum increased, this 1,000-aircraft interval notably reduced to about 650 days by the time of the 8,000th handover in January 2018, while the 9,000th to EasyJet took place fewer than 600 days later.
Airbus, which is set to unveil its latest 20-year global market forecast on 18 September, had originally predicted total sales of around 800 A320s. The airframer’s latest backlog data shows it delivered 374 over the first eight months of this year.