Airbus expects to start delivering the re-engined A320neo in November 2015.
Chief executive Fabrice Bregier, speaking at an investor forum in London, said the aircraft was “on track” for certification and handover in “a little bit less than one year’s time”.
Bregier says the first A320neo will “probably” be delivered in November next year.
He says the aircraft’s flight-test campaign has been “remarkable” with close to 200h accumulated by a single airframe.
The test aircraft is powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines, the powerplant which will feature on the initial delivery.
Bregier says the risk associated with the A320neo development is “relatively limited”, but stresses: “We need to make it work.”
Airbus had booked orders for 3,362 A320neo-family aircraft by 5 December, including conversion of 102 former A320 orders by six customers, says chief operating officer for customers John Leahy.
The airframer had promised a 15% fuel-burn advantage over the A320, and Bregier states that Airbus will increase this to 20% before 2020 – and “closer to 25%” on the A321neo.
Leahy says the fuel-burn per seat will be improved through higher-density cabin options being introduced for the family and a 2% performance enhancement for the Pratt & Whitney engine from 2019.