The Airbus A320 is not only the most popular Airbus aircraft ever made. It is rapidly approaching (and may soon take over) the number one most sold aircraft spot in the world, a spot currently held by the Boeing 737.
But unlike Boeing, who has moved 737 productions onto their ill-fated 737 MAX series, Airbus actually offers two versions of the A320, the original A320ceo, and the newer A320neo. The older ‘CEO’ stands for the current engine option, while the ‘neo’ is the new engine option. But is it just a different engine, or did Airbus take the time to redesign the aircraft for the next generation?
How do they compare?
How do they compare?? Looking from the above chart, we can see that the A320neo is actually a bit bigger than the A320ceo. This means it’s able to carry more fuel, fly a longer range, fit more passengers and fly a little faster.
It goes without saying that the major improvement is the different engine. The new engine option is more fuel efficient, quieter and pushes the distance.
How much do they cost?
Looking at the prices, we can see that these improvements are relatively cheap.
A320ceo – $100 million USD
A320neo -$110 million USD
For only $10 million more, Airbus offers an aircraft that is far more fuel efficient and easily outcompetes its predecessor… so why is the A320 still securing orders in 2019?
Essentially, these improvements of the A320neo (apart from the engines) can easily be retroactively installed on older A320s. Thus a hybrid ‘enhanced’ version of the A320ceo can be created, which has all the fuel improvements of the A320neo, and 100 extra nautical miles on its range to boot.
Thus airlines have a compelling reason to order the A320, although only 48 orders remain of the aircraft right now. It is likely that Airbus will be encouraging their clients to switch to the neo version (like they did with the A330 program).