Airbus’ A319 is well-known for its short to medium-haul capabilities on routes that do not demand the larger A320. However, Airbus also briefly offered a long-haul variant of the aircraft, made for premium-heavy configurations. Named the A319LR, this plane flew some exciting routes, starting with Qatar Airways, but has since died off in popularity.
A brief history of the Airbus A319
The Airbus A319 is the second-smallest member of the European manufacturer’s A320 family. The A320-200 itself entered commercial service in the late 1980s, with an extended version, the A321, following in 1994. This gave the family a high-capacity option, but what about on routes where demand was lower? For such purposes, Airbus launched the A319, intended mainly for current operators of the A320 family.
Just under four meters shorter than the A320, the A319-100 had a correspondingly lower capacity, making it easier for airlines to fill. A typical one-class configuration would seat 134 passengers, with a maximum of 156. Meanwhile, the A320 can seat 140 to 170 usually, with a maximum of 180.
After taking its first flight in August 1995, the A319’s launch customer was Swissair. It entered commercial service with Switzerland’s former national airline the following year and hasn’t looked back.
The A319 has proven successful globally, allowing airlines to serve lower-demand or high-frequency destinations. American Airlines operates a whopping 133 A319-100s, United has over 100, and easyJet operates 58 of the type. However, the type has been falling out of favor, with the A319neo struggling to garner sales. In total, the type has garnered nearly 1,500 sales in its 27-year run.