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Air France becomes first to operate entire Airbus A320 family with Delivery of A318

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com 9 October 2003

Today Air France took delivery of the first of 15 A318s on order from Airbus at the European manufacturer's delivery centre in Hamburg, becoming the first operator of the entire Airbus single-aisle aircraft Family in the world.

Like all the French carriers' A319s, A320s and A321s, Air France's A318s are to be powered by CFM-56 engines from CFM International and feature a flexible three-class Espace Affaires, Tempo Challenge and Tempo configuration. The A318, which is the smallest member of Airbus' A320 Family, can accommodate up to 123 passengers in Air France's cabin layout and has a range of 6,000 km/3,250 nm. Air France currently has a fleet of 123 A320 Family aircraft.

Sharing the same fuselage width as the other members of the A320 Family, the A318 offers the same standard of comfort that is available on the larger Airbus single-aisle aircraft. It shares the A320 Family's modern fly-by-wire controls, allowing all types to be operated by the same flight crews and maintained by the same engineers. It therefore benefits from the highest degree of operational commonality, greatly reducing capital investment, as well as training and spares.

"The arrival of the latest member of the A320 Family to the Air France fleet is not an everyday event. It marks an important stage in our fleet policy and our relations with Airbus and CFM International", said Air France President Jean-Cyril Spinetta.

"We are proud that, with the arrival of the A318, Air France's short to medium range fleet is on the point of becoming an all Airbus fleet", said Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer Nol Forgeard. "We thank Air France, one of our most valued customers, for having contributed to the development of our single-aisle family as a launch customer of both the A320 and the A318. And, in addition, for its contribution to other Airbus programmes, and the remarkable commercial success of these aircraft."

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