The Airbus A320 workhorse: 6,700 in total, 13 fatal crashes

By Andrea Rothman

Air New Zealand has 28 Airbus A320s in its fleet. Photo / NZME
Air New Zealand has 28 Airbus A320s in its fleet. Photo / NZME

EgyptAir Flight MS804, which disappeared yesterday, 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.

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