The A319 is one of the smaller members of Airbus' highly successful single aisle airliner family currently in service, and competes with Boeing's 737-300 and 737-700.
The A319 program was launched at the Paris Airshow in June 1993 on the basis of just six orders placed by ILFC late in 1992 and the predicted better prospects of the commercial airliner market, which were certainly realised. The first A319 airline order came from French carrier Air Inter (since merged into Air France), whose order for six was announced in February 1994. Since then Swissair, Air Canada, Lufthansa, Northwest, United, US Airways and British Airways are among the major customers that have ordered more than 500 A319s (all also operate or have on order A320s).
The A319 flew for the first time on August 25 1995 from Hamburg in Germany. European JAA certification and service entry, with Swissair, took place in April 1996.
The A319 is a minimum change, shortened derivative of the highly successful A320. The major difference between the A320 and A319 is that the latter is shorter by seven fuselage frames, while in almost all other respects the A319 and A320 are identical.
Like the A321, A330 and A340, the A319 features Airbus' common two crew glass cockpit with sidestick controllers first introduced on the A320. There are significant crew training cost benefits and operational savings from this arrangement as the A319, A320 and A321 can all be flown by pilots with the same type rating, meaning that the same flightcrew pool can fly any of the three types. Further, the identical cockpit means reduced training times for crews converting to the larger A330 and A340. The A319 is said to have the longest range in this category of airliner.
Like the A321, A319 final assembly takes place in Hamburg with DaimlerChrysler Aerospace Airbus. Final assembly of all other Airbus airliners, including the A320, takes place at Toulouse.
The A319 forms the basis for the new baby of the Airbus family, the A318 100 seater (described separately), and the Airbus A319 Corporate Jetliner (also described separately).