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Airbus A318

Narrowbody Short-to-Medium Range Passenger Airliner

Airbus A318

Narrowbody Short-to-Medium Range Passenger Airliner


The Airbus A318 has seen modest market success since its introduction in 2003.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: France
YEAR: 2003
STATUS: Active, In-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Airbus - France
OPERATORS: Brazil; Chile; Columbia; France; Romania; United Kingdom; United States

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Airbus A318-100 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
LENGTH: 103.15 feet (31.44 meters)
WIDTH: 111.88 feet (34.1 meters)
HEIGHT: 41.04 feet (12.51 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 88,185 pounds (40,000 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 120,152 pounds (54,500 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x CFM International CFM56-5B8/P OR CFM56-5B9/P turbofan engines OR 2 x Pratt & Whitney PW6122A OR PW6124A turbofan engines developing 22,000 - 24,000lbs of thrust each.
SPEED (MAX): 541 miles-per-hour (871 kilometers-per-hour; 470 knots)
RANGE: 3,542 miles (5,700 kilometers; 3,078 nautical miles)
CEILING: 39,370 feet (12,000 meters; 7.46 miles)


Series Model Variants
• A318-100 - Base Series Designation
• A318-111 - Fitted with CFM International CFM56-5B8/P turbofan engines.
• A318-112 - Fitted with CFM International CFM56-5B9/P turbofan engines.
• A318-121 - Fitted with Pratt & Whitney PW6122A turbofan engines.
• A318-122 - Fitted with Pratt & Whitney PW6124A turbofan engines.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Airbus A318 Narrowbody Short-to-Medium Range Passenger Airliner.  Entry last updated on 4/11/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
The French concern of Airbus unveiled their new A320 commercial aircraft family line in March of 1984 and eventually expanded the series by the introduction of the related A321, A319 and A318 series. The A320 was of a significant commercial aircraft milestone as it was the first of its type to see operations utilizing a digital "fly-by-wire" control system while utilizing an fighter aircraft-style side control stick. The A318 herself was developed from the A320 to fulfill the role of short-to-medium range passenger hauler and was driven by a consortium made up of France (Airbus), Alenia (Italy), Aviation Industries China (China) and Singapore Technologies Aerospace (Singapore). The end-product became a twin-engined, 107 to 132 seat airliner with a narrowbody design ("narrowbody" indicating its single aisle seating configuration).

The A318 prototype was then put through the requisite developmental paces and recorded a first flight on January 15th, 2002. Following certification in Europe and the United States, production began to which Frontier Airlines of Denver, Colorado, USA, became the A318's initial customer in 2003. Deliveries of the aircraft commenced in July. In the passenger airliner market, the A318 is a direct competitor to the American Boeing 737-600, the Brazilian Embraer 190/195 and the Canadian Bombardier Aerospace CSeries. To date (2012), the A318 has been delivered through 77 examples with an additional 25 units expected by the end of 2021 at a cost of $65 million per example. In comparison to the competition, orders have been slow yet steady.

Demand for the A318 was initially strong though issues with the rather thirsty Pratt & Whitney engines and the economical and psychological feel emanating from the 9/11 attacks on New York reduced its market appeal, leaving many once-interested parties to settle on alternatives or cancel their orders outright. Nevertheless, the A318 maintains a respectable foothold in the global market servicing customers in Europe, Central America and North America.

Overall design of the A318 is conventional as commercial aircraft go. The fuselage is well-contoured and streamlined for aerodynamic efficiency with a short nose cone at front and tapered end at rear. The cockpit is set just aft of the nose cone with framed window panels offering good views of the surrounding environment. The passenger cabin area is directly aft of the cockpit and expectedly lined with windows for each seat row. Entry/exit doors are found between the cockpit and passenger area and aft of the passenger area along the fuselage sides. Wings consist of low-set swept assemblies each managing the various required flight control surfaces as well as fuel stores and the underslung engine nacelles. The empennage is dominated by a tall vertical tail fin and low-set horizontal tailplanes. The undercarriage consists of a pair of double-tired main landing gear legs and a two-wheeled nose landing gear leg, all retractable. Overall length is 103 feet with a wingspan of 112 feet and overall height of 41 feet (all values rounded). Empty weight is listed at 87,000lbs with a maximum take-off weight of 120,000lbs.

The A318 is available in four distinct production forms varying mainly in their engine installation. The A318-111, debuting in 2003, is offered with the CFM International (General Electric Aviation and French SNECMA joint venture) CFM56-5B8/P series turbofan while the A318-112 (also 2003) appears with the CFM56-5B9/P engine. Alternatively, the A318-121 of 2007 and the A318-122 (also 2007) are delivered with the American Pratt & Whitney PW6122A and PW6124A series turbofan engines respectively. Engines are mounted as pairs on each form, one engine nacelle held under each wing. The engines output approximately 22,000 to 24,000lbs of thrust each and supplies the bird with a maximum speed of 537 miles per hour with an accepted cruise speed of 511 miles per hour. A runway of 6,000 feet is required for the aircraft under full load.

Operators of the A318 series are relatively limited between Air France (18), Avianca (10), Avianca Brazil (5), British Airways (2), Frontier Airlines (11), LAN Airlines (10) and TAROM (4). A related A318 development, the planned upcoming A318 "Elite", is intended for the medium-range market crowd.


Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (541mph).

Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Airbus A318-100's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (77)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

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