It was one of the quietest inaugurations of a new jetliner in recent memory. When Lufthansa Flight 100 lifted off from Frankfurt on Jan. 25 for a short flight to Munich, there were no champagne toasts hailing the attributes of a super-efficient aircraft five years in the making. The commercial debut of the reengined Airbus A320neo, was, in many ways, no different from the hundreds of other flights that took off from Frankfurt that day—except that it was the spearhead of Airbus’s ...

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