Airbus may have suffered a setback to its A321neo certification campaign following an incident on February 15, 2016, during flight testing at Perpignan, France.
The aircraft manufacturer is still examining the details of the incident, which occurred during flight tests and is thought to have been a tail strike, but Airbus has not publicly discussed the extent of any damage. The A321neo was transferred back to Toulouse three days later where it will have to undergo significant repair work and will remain grounded for several weeks.
The A321 has a longer fuselage and industry reports suggest the type is more vulnerable to tail strikes than other models of the A320 family.
The aircraft (D-AVXB) had been only four days into its flight test program, having conducted its maiden sortie from Hamburg, Germany, on February 9, 2016.
Airbus is aiming to deliver the A321neo, which will also be available with Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines, toward the end of this year.
February 19, 2016