The first Airbus A321neo will have to undergo significant repair work and stay on the ground for weeks following a tail strike during flights tests on Feb. 15.

The aircraft was performing the tests at Perpignan airport in France when the incident unfolded. “These things happen,” Airbus President/CEO Fabrice Bregier said during the Singapore Airshow. “We go beyond certified limits (during testing).” He did not give further details as to how and why exactly the tail strike occurred. 

According to Bregier, the aircraft was in good enough condition to be flown back from Perpignan to Toulouse where it will be repaired. Flight tests are suspended for now. “It is a matter of a few weeks,” Bregier said. He does expect any impact on the published delivery schedule. The first aircraft is to be delivered to Qatar Airways before the end of the year.

The CFM International LEAP-powered A321neo made its first flight last week following a last-minute engine swap. The Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-powered A321neo is expected to fly in March.