Market Presence. Values have fallen and continue to do so even as aircraft are scrapped and parked. As a member of the A320 family, technology is not an issue for the A318. The interior of the A318, providing a wider diameter than the competition, is attractive for corporate customers so conversion to corporate use is still possible. On a 100 seater, such an advantageous interior arrangement will further enhance passenger perceptions though operator appeal is less obvious. The high gross weight A318s are a match for the B737-600, something that was lacking with the original payload/range objectives. However, a 100 seater usually flies shorter sectors such that flight times are likely to approximate an hour. The difference in MTOWs has a significant effect on range capability. While structural changes are unlikely to be necessary to accommodate higher gross weights on a post-production basis, there may be some operating empty weight implications.
The PW6000 was essentially an all new engine but suffered from delayed certification. An all new engine usually encounters teething problems, potentially impacting reliability but the considerable redesign represented a major delay. To compensate for other teething problems that may occur with an all new engine, launch customers normally receive guarantees and penalty payments to counteract any operational deficiencies. In the years following service entry, new engines tend to feature better fuel efficiency. The lack of commonality with the other members of the A320 family saw the CFM56 favored.
Market Outlook. Stretches to regional jets have impinged on the markets served by the A318. The appetite – or lack of it – for the A318, B737-600 and B717 stems from the efficient application of scarce resources. The A318 and competitors straddle the two market segments. The aircraft is too small for the larger airlines as it fails to make best use of expensive cost items such as mainline pilots. Conversely, the A318 is too large for regional carriers who may be dependent on code sharing agreements and operate on routes with thinner traffic, insufficient to support the more capital intensive 100 seaters. The CSeries – or A210 – continues to make this segment of the market all the more difficult for the A318 as will the E195 E2. The future of the type lies with the corporate jet or business only sector. The A318 is not included in the A320neo family line-up.