When does a larger airliner pay off? Part 3

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By Bjorn Fehrm

March 21, 2024, © Leeham News: We are doing an article series about what drove the cross-over from Airbus A319 to A320 and then to A321. We started with the ceo range last week. We could see why the A320 was a better choice than an A319, with only a few more passengers per departure required to close the operating cost difference for a route, whereas the A321, being a larger jump in capacity, did not have the same per seat mile economics until traffic increased substantially.

Now we study the change to the neo generation and try to understand why the A319, a popular model as a ceo variant, did not sell at all as a neo.


  • The A319ceo had a suitable capacity for routes before 2015.  It also had a passenger mile cost advantage over the A320 for thinner routes.
  • After 2016, when the A320neo entered the market, the A319neo didn't sell at all, despite the continued existence of thin routes. We explain why.

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