Middle East Airlines (MEA) received the Airbus A320 family aircraft with the serial number 10,000 on Friday, an A321neo, the third received by the Lebanese airline. However, the jet transferred to MEA is not yet the 10,000th A320 delivered by the manufacturer, a milestone that is still a few months away.
Up to September, airframer had accumulated 9,529 units delivered from the family. The list includes 80 models of the A318 version, 1,480 A319, 4,751 A320, 1,760 A321, two A319neo, 1,069 A320neo and 387 A321neo.
“Delivering MSN10,000 is a milestone that demonstrates the success of the A320 Family and we thank our customers globally for their confidence in our products,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer.
The delivery of the A320 serial number 10,000 is a surprising milestone in commercial aviation because the Airbus aisle jet family is relatively recent. The first aircraft produced by the European group, the model MSN001, was completed in 1987 and is currently part of the Aeroscopia Museum in Toulouse, near the Airbus headquarters in France.
Close to 10,000 aircraft delivered
Since then, the A320 has become the biggest opponent of the 737, which held the most popular passenger jet title in history until the end of 2019. But while Boeing’s plane took 50 years to reach the level of 10,000 units delivered in 2018, Airbus will reach that number in just over 30 years. The milestone was not due to the pandemic, which delayed the delivery of hundreds of aircraft.
Airbus took 24 years to deliver 5,000 units of the A320 family. Interestingly, it was the same MEA that received the model with the serial number MSN5000, in 2012. In just eight years, the European planemaker is close to doubling that number.
“We are honored to receive the state of the art A321neo with its distinctive serial number 10,000 coinciding with the 75th anniversary of Middle East Airlines and specially after receiving MSN5,000 back in 2012,” said MEA President and CEO Mohamad El Hout.
The numbers of the A320 family are expected to continue growing at a rapid pace as Airbus currently has more than 6,000 orders to deliver to its customers.