Airbus has started final assembly of the first A320neo in Toulouse, France, with the attachment of the forward and aft fuselage sections, which recently arrived from St. Nazaire in France and Hamburg in Germany, respectively.
Once the team finishes joining the first two fuselage sections, plans call for engineers to join the wing to fuselage. It takes about one month to complete the final assembly of an A320, said Airbus. On average, every seven hours an A320 family aircraft leaves one of the three final assembly sites, in Toulouse, Hamburg or Tianjin, China.
Schedules call for the first flight of the A320neo to take place during the year’s fourth quarter, in time for first delivery roughly a year later. Airbus claims an order count of 2,600 A320neos from 50 customers since its launch in 2010, meaning it has captured 60 percent of the market.