Airbus has delivered its first A318 to Frontier Airlines. The aircraft is the first of five A318s to be delivered to the Denver, Colorado (USA) based carrier by the end of 2004. All five Frontier A318s will be powered by CFM-56 engines from CFM International and can accommodate up to 114 passengers in a comfortable single-class configuration. Like all A319s and A321s, the A318s are delivered from Airbus’ Single-Aisle Centre in Hamburg, Germany.
The A318 delivered to Frontier is also the 2000th aircraft of the A320 Family to be handed over to a customer, marking a new milestone in the Airbus history. The landmark of 1000 delivered A319s, A320s and A321s was reached in April 1999, little more than 11 years after the first delivery ever of an A320 aircraft.
Extending Frontier’s unique series of North American wildlife livery on its aircraft, this first A318 ever delivered to an airline features a grizzly bear emblazoned on the tail fin. In addition to the five purchased A318s, Frontier will lease two A318s, scheduled for delivery in May 2004 and March 2005. Frontier currently operates 19 A319s in its fleet and is on its way to becoming an all-Airbus operator.
“We looked long and hard at our options for fleet growth, and realized that the flexibility of running two derivatives of the Airbus A320 Family made the most sense for us,” said Jeff Potter, Frontier President and CEO. “The commonality between the aircraft will save us money and time in training, maintenance and crew qualifications. To date, our passengers and crews have been very happy with our existing fleet of A319s, and we’re confident the addition of these slightly smaller Airbus aircraft will prove seamless for everyone, providing the flexibility we need to serve more customers in a great number of destinations.”
“Airbus is proud to celebrate the first A318 delivery with Frontier,” said No‘l Forgeard, Airbus Chief Executive Officer. “By adding the A318 to its fleet of A319s, the airline will quickly take advantage of all the benefits that make the A320 Family the most successful aircraft in this market category - and those advantages are invaluable for a low-fare carrier such as Frontier.”
The A318 first delivery is a further milestone in the success story of the Airbus A320 Family, comprising the A318, the 124-seat A319, the 150-seat A320 and the 185-seat A321. Since the launch of the A320 in the 1980s, more than 3000 aircraft have been sold.
A leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive product line on the market, Airbus is a global company with design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK, and Spain as well as subsidiaries in the U.S., China and Japan. Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE SYSTEMS.