Airbus a319 Guide and Specs [2022]: A Successful Shrink

The Airbus A319 is the second variant of the A320 family and the first shortened variant. The A319 was built in response to customers wanting a smaller variant to fly thinner routes that the A320 was too large for.

The main customers of the Aircraft were airlines that already operated its larger variants since the A320 family shares a type certificate allowing pilots to fly each variant with no additional training. 

History of the Airbus A319

Inception

The A319 was designed in tandem with the A320 and the larger A321. As the project progressed, it became obvious that airlines had more interest in the latter two variants, so Airbus focused its efforts on producing them. Once the success of the A320 and A321 were secured, Airbus set its sights back on the A319. 

Design

The A320M-7 was the initial designation of the A319 before it was officially named. It was called this because the aircraft is an A320 minus seven frames.

The 3.73 m (12′ 3″) reduction in length was achieved by removing four frames in front of the wings and three frames behind them. All the other changes made to the A319 were simply to accommodate this change; there were no performance improvements.

The A320’s bulk cargo door was replaced with an aft cargo door. The new cargo door was shorter and full-size LD3 containers could no longer be fitted, so the A319 can only carry shorten LD3-45 containers.

Depending on the configuration, the number of overwing exits was also reduced from four to two; this allowed Airbus to reduce costs slightly. However, in versions with 156 seats, the number of exits remains unchanged, as is required by law. 

The fuel tanks of the A320 remained, so the range of the A319 was higher than its bigger brother, allowing it to fly a total of 6,950 km (3750 nm) with the optional sharklets fitted.

The aircraft was powered by a pair of either CFM International CFM56-5A or International Aero Engines (IAE) V2500-A5  producing 111 kN (25,000 lbf) and 120 kN (27,000 lbf), respectively.

New Engine Option Program

New Engine Option Program

The neo (New Engine Option) program was released in December 2010 with the A320. The series received a massive boost in performance and efficiency thanks to the use of next-generation engines.

Airbus decided to continue the A319 program, but once again focused on the more profitable A320 and A321 models before it upgraded the A319. 

The A319neo was certified in late 2018 and was launched with Spirit Airlines in early 2019. The A319 was available with either a pair of CFM International LEAP-1A or Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM powerplants producing 120.4 kN (27,070 lbf) and 121 kN (27,120 lbf), respectively.

The sharklets are standard this time around, making the wingspan longer than the actual aircraft. 

Strangely, the last change has a negative effect on the performance. The fuel tank is smaller this time around, so the range of the A319neo is 100km (50 nm) lower than the older A319neo.  

Looking Forward

The A319ceo model sold a total of 1,487 units over its 24-year production run making it successful enough for Airbus to continue supporting and producing it. However, the new model isn’t as successful. The A319 was released in 2019 and since then has only sold 87 units, which is less than one percent of the A320. 

For now, Airbus has stated that it has no plans of discontinuing the model even though sales have been subpar. But this could change if the industry doesn’t embrace this variant in the future. 

Airbus A319 Specifications

Airbus A319 Specifications

Parameter A319ceo A319neo
Exterior Dimensions
Length 33.84 m (111 ft 3 in)
Tail Height 11.76 m (38 ft 7 in)
Fuselage Height 4.14 m (13 ft 7 in)
Fuselage Width 3.95 m (13 ft)
Wingspan 34.10 m (111 ft 11 in) 35.80 m (117 ft 5 in)
Wing Area 122.60 m² (1,320 ft²) 123 m² (1,323 ft²)
Wing Sweep 25°
Wheelbase 11.04 m (36 ft 3 in)
Wheel Track 7.59 m (24 ft 11 in)
Interior Dimensions
Length 27.51 m (90 ft 3 in)
Width 3.70 m (12 ft 2 in)
Freight Capacity 37.41 m³ (1,321 ft³)
Pressurized Fuselage Volume 285 m³ (10,065 ft³)
Passenger Compartment Volume 120 m³ (4,238 ft³)
Maximum Number of Pallets Underfloor 4 X LD3-45
Weights
Maximum Ramp Weight 75,900 kg (167,300 lbs)
Maximum Take-Off Weight 75.500 kg (166,400 lbs)
Maximum Landing Weight 62,500 kg (137,800 lbs)
Maximum Zero Fuel 58,500 kg (129,000 lbs) 60,300 kg (132,900  lbs)
Operating Empty Weight 40,800 kg (90,000 lbs) 40,800 kg (90,000 lbs)
Maximum Payload 20,000 kg (44,092 lbs) 20,000 kg (44,092 lbs)
Performance
Range (with Sharklets) 6,950 km (3750 nm) with Sharklets 6,850 km (3,700 nm)
Cruise Speed Mach 0.78 (828 kmph / 515 mph)
Maximum Mach Number Mach 0.82 (871 kmph / 541 mph)
Useable Fuel Capacity 30,190 l (7,980 US gal) 26,730 l (7,060 US gal)
Fuel Burn (per hour) 2,600 kg (5,732 lbs) 2,210 kg (4,872 lbs)
Takeoff Distance (SL, ISA, MTOW) 1,520 m (4,987 ft) 1,850 m (6,070 ft)
Landing Distance (SL, ISA, MTOW) 1,450 m (4,757 ft) 1,360 m (4,460 ft)
Service Ceiling 11,900 m (39,100 ft) 12,500 m (41,000 ft)
Takeoff Thrust 111 – 120 kN (25,000 – 27,000 lbf) 120.4 – 121 kN (27,070 – 27,120 lbf)
Occupancy
Flight Crew 2
Occupancy (2 Class) 110 120
Occupancy (1 Class) @ 32” 140 150
Occupancy Max @ 29” 156 160
Systems
Flight Deck Proprietary Airbus A319 Flight Deck
Engine(s) CFM International CFM56-5A CFM International LEAP-1A
International Aero Engines (IAE) V2500-A5 Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM
Auxiliary Power Unit Honeywell 131-9A

Airbus A319 Performance and Flight Characteristics

Airbus A319 Performance and Flight Characteristics

The A319 shares a type certificate with the A320; this allows pilots of the family to switch between variants with no additional training. This is one of Airbus’ main selling points for the A320 family. In order to achieve a shared type rating, the performance and flight characteristics have to be the same from variant to variant.

Making physical changes to the A319 to emulate the flight characteristics of the A320 would be too costly. So engineers changed the parameters of the fly-by-wire system of the A319 so that it will handle like an A320. In addition, the engines of the A319 are derated and produce less power, which produces the same type of throttle response.  

See also: Embraer Legacy 500 Guide and Specs

Airbus A319 Orders and Deliveries

The A319 has been one of Airbus’ highest-selling short variants. The table below breaks down the main two variants and their sales, deliveries, and backlog numbers as of August 9th, 2022. 

Variant Orders Deliveries Backlog
A319ceo 1,487 1,487 0
A319neo 87 8 79
Total 1,574 1,495 79

Airbus A319 Modifications and Options

Like most commercial airlines, the A319 is available in three standard cabin configurations and two engine choices; this applies to the A319neo version as well. 

Cabin Configurations

The A319 seats six abreast in economy class with a seat width of 46 cm (18 in) and four abreast in business class with a standard seat width of 53 cm (21 in). The normal pitch for a business class seat is 104 cm (41 in), while the seat pitch for economy class is 81 cm (32 in) and 73 cm (29 in) for high-density economy. 

The A319 is usually purchased by airlines in dual-class configuration, which includes either business or premium economy class and economy class seats. The A319ceo can hold between 110 – 120 passengers in this configuration, while the neo holds 120 – 130 passengers. 

The next is a single-class configuration that is often chosen by regional airlines. In this setup, the A319ceo can hold 140 passengers, while the A319neo can hold 150. In the budget high-density version, the former holds 156 and the latter holds 160. These high-density versions also retain the four over-wing exits from the standard A320 fuselage.

Engine Configuration

The A319ceo had the choice of two engines, the CFM International CFM56-5A and International Aero Engines (IAE) V2500-A5. The CFM produces 111kN (25,000 lbf) and the 120 kN (27,000 lbf), respectively.

The A319neo is powered by either a pair of CFM International LEAP-1A that produces 120.4 kN (27,070 lbf) or two Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM powerplants which produce 121 kN (27,120 lbf) each.

Airbus A319 Price

Airbus A319 Price

The Airbus A319ceo as it’s now called is no longer in production, but when production was in full swing, Airbus listed the aircraft at $92.3 million. The second generation A319neo averages at around $101.5 million, the price changes depending on the configuration and engine chosen. 

However, airlines rarely pay the list price for an aircraft. Often time they receive hefty discounts thanks to bulk orders and business relations with Airbus. Launch partners oftentimes get discounts of up to 50 percent.

Airbus A319 Operation Costs

The A319’s operation costs can be separated into two categories, fixed costs, and variable costs.

Fixed Costs

As the name implies, fixed costs are independent of the usage of the aircraft. They stay the same if the aircraft flies 1,000 hours or stays grounded. 

Lease Payments: There are a lot of factors that go into leasing an aircraft. Calculations are based on the airplane, routes flown, the risks, safety rating, record of the airline, etc. Getting the average interest rate and cost is nearly impossible as a result.

But through market data, we know that the average monthly payment for an A319neo is between $285,000 to $360,000.

Maintenance Costs

The only fixed checks that an Airbus aircraft incurs are the two airframe structural checks, the first at five years and then again at nine years. 

Crew Salary: The pay for the flight crew across the A320 family remains around the same. However, A319s are often flown by smaller regional airlines, where the pay is considerably lower. Major airlines do utilize these aircraft, but not as much. 

For a major airline like Delta Airlines, a captain flying an A319 can make anywhere from $182,000 to $190,000 depending on experience. A first officer can expect to make roughly $66,000 when starting out; this can increase to $124,000 after seven years. However, most upgrade in five, during which they’ll be making $121,000. 

An A319 requires a minimum of three cabin crew. The average flight attendant on an A319 can expect to make around $60,000 on the high end in major careers. However, Wizz Air UK, a budget carrier has a starting salary of $23,500 annually.

These values only represent the base pay and not the additional pay that the cabin crew receives, we’ve omitted these payments because they are situational. 

Based on this, we can expect the standard cost of the salaries for an A319 managed by a major airline to cost $461,000. 

Insurance

Insurance is a must for any aircraft, but airlines are held to a much higher standard. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and FAA both have multiple laws about what kind of insurance airlines have to maintain to be able to fly. 

Most international flights require that passengers, cargo, third parties, the aircraft, and crew are all insured to some degree. Getting an industry average cost for insurance for an A319 is impossible, because airlines are insured as a whole, and don’t insurance individual aircraft. 

Variable Costs

Airbus A319 Variable Costs

Fuel

Airlines want newer aircraft to be more fuel efficient than the previous generation, and manufacturers have to deliver. This immense pressure is driven by one thing: fuel cost. It is the single largest variable cost an airline incurs.

The A319ceo and A319neo burn an average of 2,600 kg (5,732 lbs) and 2,210 kg (4,872 lbs) of fuel an hour. This is a rough estimate because fuel burn depends on temperature, altitude, and thrust settings. The cost of a metric ton of Jet-A1 on August 23, 2022, is $1064.90. 

The price of fuel for an hour of flight time for an A319ceo is $2,768.74 while the A319neo costs $2,353.43. 

Maintenance Costs

Airlines often have customized maintenance programs that abide by Airbus’ requirements and international and local laws. These programs have to be reviewed and certified by the respective authorities. 

For the A319 the check cycles can be done in intervals of 50, 100, and 200. For example, a check with an interval of 50 would mean that the aircraft is inspected every 50 days or 500 flight hours, and so on. The A320 family is known to be built better than its rival, the B737, and has a lower defect ratio as it ages. 

Airbus A319 Orders and Deliveries

There are currently two main variants of the A319, the current engine option (ceo) and the new engine option (neo). The A319ceo and A319neo have been in production since 1994 and 2017, respectively. The A319 is the most popular variant and has sold more than 1,500 units. 

The A319ceo has had a successful production run during which it has sold a total of 1,486 units of which 1,484 have been delivered. The A319neo is expected to be a success.

Airbus has yet to deliver the two remaining units as of July 2022. 

Airbus A319 Variants

As of 2022, Airbus has produced four variants of the original A319, now called the A319ceo. 

ACJ319 (Corporate Jet)

ACJ319

This variant was initially called the Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ); the name change occurred in 2014 during a marketing overhaul. In the same year, a modular version known as the A319CJ Elegance features lower costs and easier reconfiguration. 

Airbus offers customers the option of up to six center fuel tanks which will increase the range to a maximum of 6,000 nm (11,100 km). The service ceiling was also increased by 1,800 ft (548 m) to 41,000 ft (11,100 km). In a standard configuration, the aircraft can carry a total of 39 passengers, but it is often modified by customers.

A319neo

A319neo

The A319neo or New Engine Option is an updated version of the original. The biggest changes to the aircraft are the new next-generation engines that are designed for fuel efficiency.

Customers have the option of choosing between the CFM International LEAP-1A and the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM which produce 120.4 kN (27,070 lbf) and 121 kN (27,120 lbf), respectively. 

The A319neo also has some changes to the frame to increase aerodynamic efficiency and fuel efficiency. The wings of the A319neo are fitted with sharklets (Airbus’ proprietary winglets) as standard increasing the range.

Ironically, the older model has a bigger range than the neo because of its larger fuel tanks. However, Airbus claims that this model will use 15% less fuel than the original, which is a significant change. 

A319MPA

A319MPA

The A319MPA or Maritime Patrol Aircraft is built for use by the military and built by Airbus Military. It is designed for search, reconnaissance, intelligence, and anti-submarine operations.

The A319 has a low-altitude loiter capability and booth immense range and endurance. The aircraft is powered by a pair of either CFM International CFM56-5B7 or International Aero Engines IAE V2527M-A5, producing 27,000 lbf (120.10 kN) and 26,500 lbf (117.87 kN), respectively. 

To withstand the corrosion of sea spray at low altitudes the A319MPA’s airframe is made of composites instead of metal. The lighter weight of the composites helps reduce fuel consumption.

The fuselage has also been modified to house surveillance equipment and weapons for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare. The wings have also been modified to carry four missiles at any time for offensive use. 

The defense systems on the A319MPA include a missile countermeasure system (flares), warning systems, and an optional direct infrared countermeasure system to protect against infrared-guided missiles. 

A319LR

A319LR

The A319LR (Long Range) as the name suggests, is the longer range variant of the A319. The range was increased by 750 nm (1389 km) from the base model’s 3,750 nmi (6,940 km) to 4,500 nm (8,300 km). 

Airbus A319 Competitors

Boeing 737-700 (Next Generation)

Boeing 737-700 (Next Generation)

The B737-700 is the first variant of the Boeing Next Generation (NG). The Next Generation series of the B737 was purpose-built to ensure that Airbus didn’t take away market share from Boeing which was the industry leader at the time. Boeing did this because they knew that the A320 and its variants were superior to its current offering. 

The NG series only managed to level the playing field and started a decades-long battle for superiority between the two aircraft families. The A319 eventually outsold the B737-700 1488 to 1,164. 

Boeing 737 MAX 7

Boeing 737 MAX 7

The B737 Max 7 is Boeing’s answer to the A319neo. Boeing was unprepared when Airbus unveiled its neo program and hastily put together its 737 MAX series; the MAX 8 would go on to cause two accidents due to a fatal design flaw resulting in the program being grounded for more than a year. 

The MAX 7 was supposed to enter service in January 2019; however, its introduction was delayed because the entire series had to be redesigned. In addition, the  FAA has rescinded Boeing’s ability to “certify” its aircraft and is being extra careful when certifying Boeing’s airplanes after their disregard for quality and safety was made apparent.

The MAX 7 is yet to be certified and there is no definitive release date yet. Boeing has stated that the goal for certification is the end of 2022, but it is rumored that it will not happen until 2023. 

Airbus A319 Incidents and Accidents

The A319 has been in service since 1996 and has sold 1,492 units. The type has accumulated millions of flight hours in its 26 years but has only had six hull-loss accidents and 23 incidents. A hull-loss accident occurs when the aircraft has to be written off, while an incident is an event where the safety of the aircraft is jeopardized.

  • January 19th, 2003; Northwest Airlines;
    Variant: A319-114

     

    • Registration: 5-8104
    • Location: La Guardia Airport, New York, United States of America
    • Cause: Maintenance personnel couldn’t control the aircraft due to excessive throttle input.
    • Phase: Taxi
    • Fatalities vs. Occupants: 0/2
  • September 24th, 2010; Windjet;
    Variant: A319-132

     

    • Registration: EI-EDM
    • Location: Palermo-Punta Raisi Airport, Italy
    • Cause: CFIT due to pilot error
    • Phase: Landing
    • Fatalities vs. Occupants: 0/129
  • January 15th, 2018; Afriqiyah Airways;
    Variant: A319-111

     

    • Registration: 5A-ONC
    • Location: Tripoli-Mitiga International Airport, Libya
    • Cause: The aircraft was parked and damaged by artillery fire
    • Phase: Standing
    • Fatalities vs. Occupants: 0/0
  • July 30th, 2019; Lufthansa;
    Variant: A319-114

     

    • Registration: D-AILR
    • Location: Frankfurt International Airport, Germany
    • Cause: The aircraft was parked and damaged by artillery fire
    • Phase: Standing
    • Fatalities vs. Occupants: 0/0
  • July 30th, 2019; Lufthansa;
    Variant: A319-114

     

    • Registration: HB-JOH
    • Location: Napoli-Capodichino Airport, Italy
    • Cause: Damaged by hangar door
    • Phase: Standing
    • Fatalities vs. Occupants: 0/0
  • February 9th, 2021; Chair Airlines;
    Variant: A319-111

     

    • Registration: HB-JOH
    • Location: Napoli-Capodichino Airport, Italy
    • Cause: Damaged by hangar door
    • Phase: Standing
    • Fatalities vs. Occupants: 0/0
  • May 12th, 2022; Tibet Airlines;
    Variant: A319-115 (WL)

     

    • Registration: HB-JOH
    • Location: Napoli-Capodichino Airport, Italy
    • Cause: Rejected takeoff resulted in the aircraft veering off the runway
    • Phase: Takeoff
    • Fatalities vs. Occupants: 0/122
  • May 12th, 2022; Tibet Airlines;
    Variant: A319-115 (WL)

     

    • Registration: B-6425
    • Location: Chongqing-Jiangbei International Airport, China
    • Cause: Rejected takeoff resulted in the aircraft veering off the runway
    • Phase: Takeoff
    • Fatalities vs. Occupants: 0/122

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Question: Why is the A319neo Experiencing Lower Sales than its Predecessor?

Answer: The main reason the A319neo isn’t selling as much as the A319ceo is because of another Airbus: the A220-300. The A220-300 seats the same amount of passengers and has a similar range of 6,297 km (3,400 nm).
It has sold more than 550 models, six times more than the A319neo. The A220-200 is also cheaper than the A319neo, which sways a lot of customers. 

Question: How Much Commonality does the A319 Share with the A320?

Answer: The A319 was carefully to have 95 percent commonality with the A320. This commonality is what allows the aircraft to share its type rating. 

Question: Is the A319neo Going to be the Last A319?

Answer: Though Airbus has said that they have plans to discontinue the aircraft, the troubling sales numbers tell a different story. In aviation, airlines are king, and what they want goes and right now, it doesn’t seem like the A319 is the preferred choice. 

Recommended Reads:

References:

  • Ahlgren, L. (2022, August 14). How Much Do Airbus Aircraft Cost? Simple Flying. https://simpleflying.com/how-much-do-airbus-aircraft-cost/#:~:text=A319,jets%2C%20goes%20for%20%24101.5%20million.
  • Aircraft values and lease pricing – Summer 2018. (n.d.). Airliners.Net. Retrieved August 23, 2022, from https://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1399391
  • Aris, S. (2004). Close to the sun: How airbus challenged America’s domination of the skies. Agate Pub Incorporated.
  • Casinader, T. (2022, July 19). Airbus A320 guide and specs [2022]: The world’s highest-selling narrowbody – Aviator insider. Natalia Bickell. https://aviatorinsider.com/airplane-brands/airbus-a320/
  • Civil aircraft today: The world’s most successful commercial aircraft. (2008).
  • EASA. (2018, June 28). Type Data Certificate. Wayback Machine. https://web.archive.org/web/20160915235037/https://www.easa.europa.eu/system/files/dfu/TCDS_EASA%20A%20064_%20Airbus_%20A318_A319_A320_A321_Iss_22.pdf
  • Quick study guide for the Airbus A319. (2004).
  • Wagner, G. N. M. (n.d.). Airbus.
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