MIAMI — Citing documentation issues, Airbus has announced that it will be unable to deliver the first Airbus A320neo before the end of 2015. The delivery is now expected to occur sometime within the next one to five weeks, but no official date has been set.
Unfortunately for Airbus, it will miss its target of getting the first A320neo delivered “in late 2015″ by just days, but earlier this month, it became apparent a delivery before the end of 2015 would be very close.
Earlier this month, Airbus announced that it would hand the first A320neo over to Lufthansa rather than Qatar Airways, but Al Akabar, Qatar’s CEO, said that he expected a “Christmas miracle” and “that Airbus will deliver the A320neo before the end of the year.” The change in the launch customer was due to operational constraints in place for the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engine, pending some hardware and software changes which were to be implemented “within a matter of weeks,” and Qatar did not want to take delivery of the new aircraft if it had operational restrictions.
Despite the switch, it still looked possible that the first A320neo could occur before the end of 2015, but IndiGo Airlines was notified on December 21 that its first A320neo will not be delivered on-time due to “industrial reasons.” The airline expected to receive on December 30, and as of now, it does not know when it will receive its first aircraft.
Lufthansa will still be the launch customer when its takes delivery of the first A320neo next month, despite the delay. In Air Transport World (ATW) story on the delay, they confirmed that “a Pratt & Whitney spokesperson told ATW the PW1100G geared turbofan engine was ‘ready to enter service and meeting or exceeding all performance requirements’ and that the reason for the postponement was ‘primarily a documentation issue.’”