The Airbus A320 family consists of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger twin-engine jet airliners manufactured by Airbus. The family includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321, as well as the ACJ business jet. The A320s are also named A320ceo (current engine option) after the introduction of the A320neo. Final assembly of the family takes place in Toulouse, France, and Hamburg, Germany. A plant in Tianjin, China, has also been producing aircraft for Chinese airlines since 2009, while a final assembly facility in Mobile, Alabama delivered its first A321 in April 2016. The aircraft family can accommodate up to 220 passengers and has a range of 3,100 to 12,000 km (1,700 to 6,500 nmi), depending on model.
The first member of the A320 family—the A320—was launched in March 1984, first flew on 22 February 1987, and was first delivered in March 1988. The family was soon extended to include the A321 (first delivered 1994), the A319 (1996), and the A318 (2003). The A320 family pioneered the use of digital fly-by-wire flight control systems, as well as side-stick controls, in commercial aircraft. There has been a continuous improvement process since introduction.
As of 29 February 2016, a total of 6,932 Airbus A320-family aircraft have been delivered, of which 6,631 are in service. In addition, another 5,531 airliners are on firm order. It ranked as the world’s fastest-selling jet airliner family according to records from 2005 to 2007, and as the best-selling single-generation aircraft programme. The A320 family has proved popular with airlines including low-cost carriers such as EasyJet, which purchased A319s and A320s to replace its 737 fleet. As of 31 March 2016, American Airlines was the largest operator of the Airbus A320 family aircraft, operating 362 aircraft.[b] The aircraft family competes directly with the 737 and has competed with the 717, 757, and the MD-80/MD-90.
In December 2010, Airbus announced a new generation of the A320 family, the A320neo (new engine option). The A320neo offers new, more efficient engines, combined with airframe improvements and the addition of winglets, named Sharklets by Airbus. The aircraft will deliver fuel savings of up to 15%. As of January 2016, a total of 4,508 A320neo family aircraft had been ordered by more than 70 airlines, making it the fastest ever selling commercial aircraft. The first A320neo was delivered to Lufthansa on 20 January 2016 and it entered service on 25 January 2016.