AIRBUS still aims to deliver by year-end the first of its updated medium-range airliners, the A320neo, a source said yesterday (December 21) following reports of a possible delay.
"Our objective is to deliver the first A320neo before the end of the year, and that is still within the realm of the possible," said a source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
But if the plane, which has lifted Airbus's orders in recent years as it offers airlines fuel savings of up to 15 per cent, is not delivered by the end of this month it will be handed over in the first days of January, added the source.
"It won't be anything dramatic," said the source.
The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday (December 21) the parent company of India's IndiGo said that the airline had been notified by Airbus that its first plane would not be delivered as promised by December 30.
IndiGo, which has ordered more than 400 of the planes equipped with a new generation of engines, did not respond to requests for a comment.
However Lufthansa, which along with IndiGo and Qatar Airways is among the first clients slated to receive delivery of the aircraft, said there was no delay.
"We should receive the first aircraft this year, and there are still several days. We still expect it will be delivered this year," a spokeswoman said, adding that Lufthansa was still working with Airbus to receive the plane.
Lufthansa has ordered 116 of the aircraft.
Airbus, for its part, declined to comment about its discussions with its clients.
A source close to the plane manufacturer said the aircraft are finished, and that before delivery there are often last minute hold-ups regarding the interiors.
The A320, a single-aisle aircraft that can carry around 200 passengers in most versions, is popular among airlines for medium-range flights and is one of the workhorses of the civilian aircraft market.
Airbus has received more than 4,300 orders for various versions of the A320neo.
Boeing has received more than 3,000 orders for its rival 737MAX, the first of which came off the assembly line this month.