Airbus A320 Workhorse: 6,700 in Global Fleet, 13 Fatal Crashes

EgyptAir MS804: Hollande Rules No Hypotheses Out
  • Most recent crash was suspected bombing of Russian airliner
  • Egyptair flight missing en route from Paris to Cairo is A320

EgyptAir Flight MS804, which disappeared earlier Thursday, was operating an Airbus Group NV A320 single-aisle jet. Here are some basics about the plane type that has won more around 12,500 orders and is a workhorse on short- and medium-haul routes:

  • A320, the core of the planemaker’s best-selling series, started operating in 1988
  • Thirteen fatal crashes since beginning of the program
  • Most recent A320 crash was Russian airliner Metrojet, an A321, brought down by suspected Islamic State bomb over Egypt’s Sinai; earlier two crashes were Germanwings accident attributed to pilot suicide in March 2015 and AirAsia Bhd.’s Flight 8501 went down in Java Sea on Dec. 28
  • Global fleet: About 6,700 in A320 series. Competes with Boeing Co. 737
  • Five variants flying commercially: A320, carrying 150 passengers, is most common. A319 carries 124, and little-ordered A318 seats 107. A321 carries 185 in typical configuration. Updated A320neo model with new engines began flying from January
  • Engines: Two for the A320 series, either CFM 56 model built by CFM International, a joint venture between General Electric Co. and Safran SA; or V2500 from International Aero Engines, a joint venture that includes United Technologies Corp.’s Pratt & Whitney. A320Neo currently flying only with Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan engines; A320Neos with Leap engines by CFM set to enter service later this year
  • Built: Main assembly lines are in Toulouse, France, and Hamburg, Germany, with parts mainly produced in France, Germany, Spain and the U.K. Final assembly line in Tianjin, China, produces four planes a month for Chinese market while U.S. line in Mobile, Ala., just began producing A320Neos.
  • Most remembered by public: US Airways A320 flown by Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger made emergency landing on Hudson River in New York in January 2009 after multiple bird strikes knocked out both engines

For Related News and Information:
Top transport stories: TOP TRN
Stories on airline industry: NI AIR
Planemaker dashboard: BI AIRM

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