The A319 is a shortened version of the A320. The first test flight of an A319took place on August 24, 1995. The A319-111 and -112 models were certified on April 10, 1996. They began operation on May 8, 1996 by Swiss Airlines. Like the A321, the A319 is still primarily assembled in Hamburg.
Traditionally, a shortened model is less popular than the aircraft on which it is based, because the cost per seat increases. This explains the relative failures of the Boeing B720 and Lockheed L-011-500 models. Some specialists thus anticipated the A319 program’s failure. However, Airbus solved this problem by significantly increasing the range of the A319. Accordingly, by the end of 2012 the aircraft still had 1,526 orders – over 200 more than the A321 (1,330 orders as of the same date).
Some configurations, such as the ones with more doors allow airlines to increase the passenger capacity to 160. This is the case for Easy Jet aircraft.
It is equipped with the same engines and same fuel capacity as, however with fewer passengers than, the A320. It’s range with 124 passengers in two classes is 7,200 km, the largest in the family. It is this long range that has allowed the A319 to deal with increases in fuel prices, an important factor in orders placed by airlines.
Through the Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) project, the European manufacturer wants to tackle the private and business aircraft market – a market primarily held by the Bombardier, Cessna, and Dassault manufacturers. Thus, came about the business version of the A319 – the Airbus ACJ319. Its significant advantage over private and business aircraft is its size, which is particularly large for this type of use and its long range. The manufacturer also improved this aircraft and today offers the ACJ319 Elegance, with lower fuel consumption.