Airbus reported on Monday it has started final assembly of the first A320neo at its Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Toulouse (France), with the join-up of the forward and aft fuselage sections which recently arrived from St. Nazaire in France and Hamburg in Germany respectively. Once this phase is completed, the next stage is the wing to fuselage join-up.
The A320neo first flight will take place in the last quarter of 2014, and first delivery about a year later. The A320neo (‘new engine option’) incorporates many innovations, including latest generation engines and large Sharklet wing-tip devices, which together deliver 15 percent in fuel savings and a reduction of 3,600 tonnes of C02 per aircraft per year.
With a total of more than 2,600 orders received from 50 customers since its launch in 2010, the A320neo family has captured some 60 percent of the market, according to Airbus.