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Airbus Commercial Aircraft: positioned for the future (2017)

Airbus delivered a total of 49 A350 XWB jetliners in 2016, reflecting the effectiveness of the company’s production ramp-up.

Airbus Commercial Aircraft entered 2017 on a strong competitive footing, having met the 2016 jetliner delivery goals and logging an order volume that exceeded the year’s target and raised backlog to a new industry record; all while positioning itself as a more efficient, innovative company offering a broader range of services to customers. 

The record of 688 aircraft deliveries in 2016 confirmed that the company's largest-ever production ramp-up was truly underway and gathering momentum. For new business logged during the year, the 731 net orders boosted overall backlog to a new industry record of 6,874 as of 31 December, representing approximately 10 years of production at current rates. 

Company integration involving the merging of Airbus – the commercial aircraft manufacturing division – with Airbus Group, the parent company, is resulting in a leaner, less complex organisation that is united under a single brand: “Airbus.”

IranAir’s fleet modernisation begins with Airbus

Initial delivery activity in 2017 included the handover of IranAir’s first new aircraft, a single-aisle A321, which occurred at Airbus’ Toulouse, France industrial facility during January.  

It was the first delivery from a firm order placed by IranAir in December 2016 for 100 Airbus aircraft (46 single-aisle and 54 widebody jetliners) to renew and expand its fleet. 

Iran is forecast to require some 400-500 new aircraft to modernise and to grow its existing passenger fleet, meeting demand on domestic as well as international routes. 

THE A350 XWB’S NEWEST OPERATORS

Handover of the no. 1 A350-900 jetliner to Air Caraïbes was marked during a February delivery ceremony in Toulouse, France.

In February, Air Caraïbes became the 11th customer worldwide to receive Airbus’ A350 XWB – which will be used on this carrier’s routes between Paris and the French Caribbean, operated alongside the A330s already in service.  

Accommodating up to 389 passengers in a three-class configuration, Air Caraïbes’ A350-900 version offers passengers comfort and quietness provided by the “Airspace by Airbus cabin,” combined with a new lighting system that helps reduce the effects of jet lag.  

Keeping up the delivery pace, Asiana Airlines of South Korea received its first A350-900 in April – making it the 12th airline to operate the world’s newest and most efficient twin engine widebody airliner. 

Major achievements for A319neo and A321neo

Flight evaluations with the first A319neo began on 31 March 2017.

Airbus’ best-selling single-aisle product line marked a key milestone in March with first flight of the A320neo Family’s shortest-fuselage member, the A319neo – which was equipped with CFM International LEAP-1A engines, one of the two powerplants available for the NEO jetliners.  

This five-hour trip – which kicked off the A319neo’s flight campaign – began from Hamburg-Finkenwerder Airport in Germany, with the aircraft ultimately touching down at Airbus’ Toulouse, France headquarters location.  

Another NEO-related achievement was reached in April with handover of the first-ever A321neo– which was delivered to U.S. airline Virgin America during a ceremony in Hamburg, Germany. The jetliner is powered by CFM International’s LEAP-1A engines.

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