Airbus set two new aircraft delivery records this month and celebrated the delivery of its 4,500th aircraft, an A320 delivered to Egypt's Air Cairo. Airbus has broken the previous annual delivery record with 392 aircraft delivered so far this year, surpassing the previous record of 378 aircraft set in 2005. And with 46 aircraft delivered, the month of November set a new monthly record. Airbus is well on the way to achieving its target of 434 deliveries by the end of the year.
News in brief
Airbus achieves record deliveries
Méaulte delivers first A400M nose section
The first A400M nose section has been delivered by the Airbus' site in MÃ©aulte, France marking another important step in the A400M programme. The section was flown in the Beluga to Saint-Nazaire where it will be equipped. The design and assembly of this first nose section for a military aircraft has benefited from the experience, technologies and industrial processes developed for the Airbus aircraft family. MÃ©aulte is responsible for assembling the nose sections of all Airbus aircraft and has developed an ultra-precise method of spatial positioning using laser beam measurement to ensure perfect sealing and the best aerodynamics.
Air Namibia receives its second A340
Air Namibia has completed its long-haul fleet upgrade with the arrival of its second A340-300. The two A340s will operate on the airline's intercontinental long-haul schedule from Namibia, with a comfortable 278-seat layout that includes 44 business class seats. In the colours of southern African neighbours SAA and Air Mauritius, the A340 has already proved to be a market-matched and economic solution to flying Africa's longer intercontinental routes.
Czech Air Force to receive Airbus Corporate Jetliners
The first of two Airbus Corporate Jetliners (ACJ) for the Czech Air Force is currently having its cabin outfitted by Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg, Germany, ahead of delivery later this year. The aircraft will be used for both government delegations and military troop transportation in 44- and 100-seat configurations, respectively. The second aircraft is due to be delivered in 2007. Some 70 ACJ Family aircraft have been sold to date, including the A318 Elite and the A320 Prestige.
New stamp celebrates A380
Airbus has joined forces with La Poste, the French post office, to launch a special A380 commemorative stamp for the Salon du Timbre show in Paris. The stamp, which features the aircraft in flight, will cost three euros and will be available from all post offices. This is not the first time an Airbus aircraft appears on a stamp. In 1973 the A300B was honoured with a stamp that remained in circulation for almost a year.
Tenth A330-300 delivered to China Airlines
Taiwanese carrier China Airlines took delivery of its 10th owned A330-300 in a ceremony at Airbus headquarters in Toulouse. This latest delivery takes the number of Airbus aircraft in the airline's fleet up to 21. China Airlines operates passenger and freight flights on routes to Europe, North America and Australia as well as throughout Asia. It already has seven A340-300 aircraft and three A300-600Rs as well as 10 A330 aircraft, one of which is on lease.
A320 flight deck on exhibit in Washington
An A320 flight deck is now on display at the Smithsonian Institute's National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C. as part of an exhibition under construction, "America by Air," showing the advances in technology achieved since the early days of aviation. The exhibition, which will be completed in 2007, will take visitors on a journey through the history of air transportation, from the early years of air mail to the jet age and beyond.
China Southern prepares for the A380
Airbus held a technical seminar in Guangzhou, China for engineers and officials from China Southern Airlines, Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering (GAMECO) and the Chinese Civil Aviation Authority, CAAC, to prepare the entry into service of the A380 in China. China Southern will be the first A380 customer in China. Its first two A380s are scheduled for delivery at the end of 2007 and in early 2008 in time for the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.
Airbus celebrates 50th A320 delivery to SALE
The 50th A320 delivery to Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise (SALE) was the occasion of a special visit in Toulouse of senior officials from the company including Managing Director and CEO Robert Martin, and Chief Commercial Officer Steven Townend, who were welcomed by John Leahy, Airbus COO Customers. SALE has currently a fleet of 56 Airbus aircraft including A319s, A320s and A321s.
A310 tanker performs refuelling boom tests
An A310 equipped with a refuelling boom completed the first tests of a new Air Refuelling Boom System (ARBS) for EADS in Getafe, Spain. The test programme involved six flights with the boom in the stowed position to assess the aircraft's performance, and check flutter effects and potential effects on the auxiliary power unit (APU). Preliminary test results showed that the boom installation had minimal influence on the aircraft's handling qualities. Further tests will now be conducted throughout 2006, including dry and wet contacts with a Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter.