The first Thousand

With the brazilian airline TAM firming up their MoU for 32 A320 family aircraft including 22 A320neo, Airbus now reached more than 1000 firm orders for the reengined version of the aircraft. Truely remarkable, as this comes less than 11 months after Airbus officially launched the project on Dec 1st., 2010. The neo portion of the A320 backlog reaches 1/3 with that. John Leahy originally expected to sell about 4000 A320neo over the programe life - this seems to be a conservative number now...
Of course, Airbus talked with a lot of (potential) customers before launching the A320neo, so they could be sure that it will be a success - but Airbus obviously was caught by surprise by the amount of orders that came in, especially during the Paris Air Show. And so was Boeing - we are still waiting for a specification of the B737 MAX. The B737 MAX will probably see a similar flow-in of orders, as Boeing already announced that they have 496 commitments for the reengined aircraft.