“The exceptional market demand for the A320neo family, as airlines recognize the operational, economic and environmental advantages which the ‘neo’ will deliver, has encouraged us to advance the entry into service date to October 2015,” John Leahy, Airbus’s Chief Operating Officer, Customers, said in a statement.
The move is seen by many analysts as an attempt to make the A320neo more attractive in light of Boeing’s recent suggestions that the American aerospace company will rollout a brand new plane to replace its own narrow-body, the 737, by the end of the decade. A brand new plane would presumably be even more efficient that the highly touted A320neo but if the neo can come to the market several years before a replacement 737, Airbus may be able to gain significant momentum in the narrow-body market over the coming years.
In other Airbus news today, the company announced that it delivered 119 planes during the first quarter but only took on one net order during the first three months as 68 cancellations cut into its orders book of 69. That number is expected to rise pretty rapidly over the following months as the A320neo gains more momentum and today’s announcement of a more aggressive delivery schedule for the plane may be the catalyst for such momentum.