Airbus delivers 500th A321

27 February 2009

Most efficient aircraft in its class

Airbus has delivered the 500th A321 ever produced. The aircraft was handed over to Air France at Airbus' Delivery Centre in Hamburg. The A321 is the largest member of the best selling A320 Family. It is the most efficient single-aisle aircraft in its segment.

Air France's A321 is equipped with Airbus' enhanced single-aisle cabin and can accommodate 174 passengers in a comfortable two-class layout. The aircraft is powered by CFM 56-5B/3 engines.

"Air France was the first airline to operate the A320 and in our 75th anniversary year we are pleased to be receiving the 500th A321, the largest member of the family. Air France was also the first major airline to operate all four members of the A320 Family in 2003 and they have served us on our medium haul network and will continue to do so", said Pierre Vellay, Senior VP New Aircraft and Corporate Fleet Planning Air France.

"We are delighted that Air France continues to renew its medium haul fleet with A321s; the preferred aircraft on medium range high-density routes," said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. "Airbus invests around 100 million Euros every year to keep the A320 the most eco-efficient single aisle aircraft in the world. Reaching the milestone of 500 deliveries proves the sustainability of these investments and underlines the leading position of the A321 in its market segment in terms of operational efficiency, passenger comfort and environmental friendliness."

The first A321 was delivered in 1994, as well as the first one to the Air France Group. Today Airbus has sold more than 750 A321s to about 65 customers all around the world.

While passengers are benefiting from a state of the art cabin design, wider seats, wider aisles and bigger overhead stowage, airlines profit from the unique operational flexibility of Airbus single-aisle aircraft.

Only Airbus-single aisle aircraft, like the A321, are able to accommodate containerised cargo thus adding profitability to airline operations. Airlines using the cargo system are minimizing turn around times and are able to easily exchange containers from its single-aisle operations into wide body aircraft operations. This increases efficiency in connecting international air-cargo transport and reducing the risk of damaging goods.

Commonality within the Airbus fly-by-wire product line also contributes to the A320 Family's economics. The ability to use a single pool of pilots, cabin crew and maintenance personnel for the A318, A319, A320 and A321 saves money and gives airlines maximum flexibility in scheduling and planning.

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