Airbus overbooking A320ceo slots

With Delta Air Lines today announcing the plan to purchase 30 A321ceo (along with 10 A330-300) it becomes clear that all the remaining A320ceo slots are booked now and that it is very likely that Airbus overbooks the slots.
As of July31 there were 1.787 open orders for the A320ceo family in the orderbook. Now let us consider the following orders to get cancelled:
  • Kinfisher/Kingfisher Red 67 aircraft
  • United Airlines                 30 aircraft
  • Alphastream                     15 aircraft
  • Northwest Airlines             7 aircraft
  • Croatia                                4 aircraft
  • Hamburg International       2 aircraft
There are now some announced orders which are not yet in the Airbus O&D table:
  • Delta Airlines                       30 aircraft
  • Vueling                                30 aircraft
  • CASC                                   42 aircraft
  • Air China / Shenzen             40 aircraft
This is a net of 17 orders, so we get 1804 open orders as of July 31st.
With a production rate of 42 and 11.5 months of production per year another 1092 aircraft will have been delivered until the end of October, when the A320neo will enter airline service, leaving .
A320ceo production will ramp down from that point in time. Assume Airbus can hold the rate of 42 aircraft per month steady.
I read somewhere that 12 A320neo should leave the factories in 2015 and 100 in 2016. So from the 564 aircraft produced from November 2015 until December 2016 464 will be ceo's, leaving the ceo backlog at 374. For 2017 I guess that around 60% of all produced A320 will be neo's (289 from 483), so the ceo number delivered in 2017 would be 194 and the remaining backlog at the beginning of 2018 would be 180. Airbus said before that the A320neo should reach 100% share in early 2018, so it is clear that the A320ceo are overbooked at the moment. Maybe this is not unwise as one of the two neo engine suppliers could be late - who knows...

UPDATE: I forgot to mention the American Airlines order: the order for a combined 130 A319ceo and A321ceo is not part of the orderbook. The first two aircraft were delivered in July, then three in August and another one in early September. Airbus leases these aircraft directly to American and then sells them with the lease attached. Not all deliveries will follow that procedure: ILFC ordered 15 A321 recently to lease to AA, so these 15 A321 are part of the orderbook and we do not know how many aircraft from the recent order for 3 A319 and 5 A321 from CIT are destined for AA and how many aircraft will come from other already existing orders fom leasing companies. But Airbus already said that around 30 aircraft will follow the procedure of the first four A319, which were sold to Avolon. So we have another expansion of the orderbook and further overbooking of the A320ceo slots.


  1. From about a year ago, I saw that the number of A320CEO was being sold at a higher rate than the production at hand. I though that perhaps the rate to more than 42 per month could be increase, but that is not an easy task of just deciding it. A bunch of other factors come into play (suppliers and the customers themselves will have to be ready). Obviously it requires a great amount of planning. What makes this more interesting is the arrival of the NEO in less than three years. What if customers decides they want the A320 instead.

  2. In the beginning of the year, Airbus told reporters that there are 300 CEO sale slots left. Perhaps you can do the math with this number too (reduce this number with the 2013 sales / announcements and add the possible cancellations)?

    I don't know if the 300 figure is with or without the AA order of 130 aircraft.


    1. Karel,
      Airbus sold 195 A320ceo this year. Add the 142 pending orders from above and you get to 337. Subtract the 135 cancellations and you have 202. Then probably add American and you have something around 300. So counting it this way Airbus could have some slots available, but definitely not a big number.
      This is completely different from the B737NG situation where I see something like 700 open delivery slots.http://aeroturbopower.blogspot.de/2013/03/pricing-pressure-on-b737ng.html

  3. I appreciate it!
    Fantastic Post you have here but I was curious if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics flight Booking Engine discussed here? I’d really love to be a part of group where I can get feedback from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest.

  4. Airbus is building a new factory in Alabama USA to produce A320s, with deliveries scheduled for 2016. It seems to me that this plant could produce additional A320CEOs, or else start with NEOs and free up capacity elsewhere.

    I would also not be surprised to see Airbus continue production into 2018, if customers demand.

    1. Just yesterday I saw somewhere John Leahy mentioning the possibility to hike production by one or two aircraft a month before the A320neo starts production. With new sales for both the ceo and the neo just announced today at the Beijing Air Show this makes sense...