Airbus expects that an incident which damaged the first A321neo test aircraft will delay the certification campaign by a few weeks.

The airframer’s chief executive, Fabrice Bregier, told Flightglobal at the Singapore air show that the aircraft suffered a tail-strike during landing at Perpignan.

“It touched the runway. But it’s repairable,” he says, pointing out that the aircraft was able to be ferried back to Toulouse.

The A321neo had arrived at Perpignan on 12 February, just four days into its flight-test campaign.

“These things happen,” said Bregier, during a briefing at the show. He stressed that flight-test work sometimes involves going “well beyond” certified limits, although he has not indicated whether the incident occurred in unusual circumstances.

Bregier says the event will result in a “few weeks’ delay” to the flight-test programme.

The aircraft involved was fitted with CFM International Leap-1A engines. CFM says it is "supporting" Airbus but adds that the engines were "not involved" in the incident and were not damaged.

Despite the incident, Bregier says, there should be no impact on deliveries.

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Source: Cirium Dashboard