American Airlines took delivery of its first Airbus A319 today, its first type from the European airframer in four years.
The 128-seat narrowbody marks the beginning of deliveries of the Fort Worth-based airline's firm order for 260 Airbus A320 family narrowbodies that was announced in July 2011. The order is split between 130 A319 and A321s, and 130 A320neo family aircraft.
Airbus formally handed over the aircraft, registration N8001N, to American during a ceremony with executives from both companies at the OEM's Hamburg assembly line.
"The introduction of the A319 is another important step in building a strong foundation for the new American," says Virasb Vahidi, chief commercial officer of American.
The aircraft is leased from Airbus, says the carrier.
American will take 15 A319s as well as five Airbus A321s this year, however, it has yet to disclose the split between the types beyond these for its deliveries through 2017. It says that it has the option of switching between the types based on its needs.
The A319 will initially fly from the carrier's Dallas-Fort Worth hub to Charlotte, Cleveland, Memphis and Wichita from 16 September. Additional destinations will be added through the end of the year.
The carrier last flew an Airbus variant, A300-600, in 2009.
The A319 will offer audio video on demand (AVOD) from Thales in every seat and Gogo wi-fi onboard the aircraft.