Why didn't the A319neo become a popular commercial aircraft?

Why didn't the A319neo become a popular commercial aircraft?

Photo: airbus.com

Since Airbus decided not to upgrade its “baby bus” A318 on A318neo, A319neo is now the smallest member of the family. On older models, it is noticeable that elongated modifications with LR and XLR (extra-long range) suffixes are more popular than conditionally short ones, and the A319neo is quite in line with this trend. The type has been in commercial service for almost a year now and you can see how sales are progressing.

Since the first A319neo prototype left the Hamburg assembly shop in 2017, only 91 have been ordered, according to Airbus. airplane. And this is where they went:

Governments, business, etc. — 8 orders for A319neo;

Air China — 5;

China Southern — 9;

Sichuan Airlines — 2;

Spirit Airlines — 31;

Tibet Airlines — 1;

Unnamed — 35

So, the total number of ordered A319neo is 91 copies. This includes those ordered by governments and private organizations.  

As for the A319neo aircraft, which are in active commercial operation, at present only four (!) Aircraft carry passengers — and they are all owned by Chinese China Southern Airlines.

It is noteworthy that in January 2023, one A319neo was acquired by the government of Uzbekistan.

So why is the A319neo less popular than its larger brothers?


The most significant order currently belongs to the low-cost airline Spirit Airlines — 31 aircraft. But compared to the hundreds of A320neos on order, or even its comparable Boeing 737 MAX 7 competitor, the Neo 319 obviously losing.

However, the Boeing MAX 7 line is in a similar situation, albeit on a slightly different scale: with about 290 copies sold (compare with 91 for the Airbus baby bus), the “baby Boeing” The 737 MAX attracted far fewer buyers than its longer MAX counterparts, and most of the sales come from one US carrier, Southwest — 236 aircraft.

The lack of popularity of shortened versions of these narrow-body platforms is ultimately simply explained: they have higher costs per passenger-kilometer.

And let these aircraft be cheaper, lighter and offer a greater flight range, it is the cost per passenger that ultimately makes the elongated versions of the same family more attractive — A320neo and A321neo.

More seats and more cargo capacity with only slightly higher operating costs and lower cost per passenger ultimately determines the choice of airlines: to increase the size to fit more seats in the cabin.

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