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Airbus just delivered the first A320neo, its next-gen 737 competitor

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Airbus has delivered the first production A320neo to launch customer Lufthansa, marking the beginning of the next generation in mass-market airline travel.

But if you can't really tell the difference between the A320neo and its predecessor, the A320, you'd be forgiven: the aircraft is largely the same as the wildly popular outgoing model, which has been in service since 1988. The biggest changes are in the all-new engines, which are designed for less noise and higher fuel efficiency. Boeing has taken a similar strategy with this generation of single-aisle aircraft, repurposing its decades-old 737 for the 737 MAX. Though 737 MAX aircraft have recently started being built, none have been delivered to airlines yet.

airbus a320neo

All told, Airbus says it's booked around 4,500 orders for the A320neo family, which includes three different sizes — the A319neo, A320neo, and larger A321neo. Boeing has booked around 3,000 orders for the 737 MAX, which is expected to be in service toward the end of next year.

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