The Airbus A319 Neo on the way to the private jet

Hardly any orders from airlines

Airlines order Airbus A320 Neo and A321 Neo, leaving the A319 Neo aside. It’s increasingly becoming a government, business and private jet.

Airbus A319 Neo
Airbus A319 Neo

Airbus A319 Neo: where lies the future of the model?

Swissair was the first airline in the world to adopt an A319 in 1996. Since then, Airbus has sold a staggering 1,478 units of the classic-model aircraft called the Ceo (Current Engine Option). At the end of July 2019, 1434 were still in operation.

Thus, the A319 can not keep up with the 4,737 A320 sold or the 1,742 A321 sold. But the second smallest member of the A320 family is not a flop like the even smaller A318. Of that, Airbus sold just 80 pieces.

Airlines are hardly interested

Airbus has long since heralded the Neo era (New Engine Option) for the A320 family, leaving the A318 at bay. The large variants are with more than 6000 ordered units (A320 Neo 3900 and A321 Neo 2700) again the blockbuster. The A319 Neo was shunned. At the end of July 2019, the European aircraft manufacturer has just signed orders for 36 A319 Neo.

There were two A319 Neo for Air Côte d’Ivoire, 30 for unnamed customers and three for Government, Business and Private Jets.

ACJ319 Neo Infinito cabin
ACJ319 Neo Infinito cabin

Too few seats

Exciting is the high proportion of government, business and private jets – known as ACJ for Airbus Corporate Jet for short – on the A319 Neo. For comparison: For the A321 Neo is officially no order in this segment in the books. In the A320 Neo, Airbus has collected orders for seven jets for exclusive customers and has already delivered two.

In the predecessor generation Ceo, the A319 with 77 government, business and private jets delivered, had left behind the A320 with 20 and the A321 with only one plane. The advantage: even a head of government who travels with her team and press representatives can manage an A319. It also offers more range than an A320. As a passenger aircraft, however, the A319 has gone out of fashion in times when airlines usually want to force as many seats and passengers into the jet as possible.

Airbus had decided despite the acquisition of the more modern C-Series, however, to keep the A319 on offer. “It is ideal in difficult conditions such as high altitude airports or hot climates,” said marketing manager Antonio Da Costa in the summer of 2018. In addition, the A319 Neo has a greater range than the A220-300.

ACJ319, a private jet with huge range

Airbus also equipped the ACJ319 with additional tanks, giving it a range of 12,500 kilometers with eight passengers on board. In April 3019, the manufacturer even sent the jet on a record-long flight of 16 hours and 10 minutes. It completed the longest flight an Airbus crew ever made with a jet of the A320 family. The private jet started in Toulouse in France, flew to North Greenland and back. That pleases wealthy private clients and governments.

It looks very much like the A319, with its advantages, can score points with exclusive customers, but hardly with airlines. There is little evidence that this is changing. The A319 is on its way to become primarily a government, business and private jet.