Airbus reached a significant milestone today when the 4,000th aircraft to come off the production line was delivered to its customers Lufthansa; the Frankfurt-based airline took delivery of the twin-aisle A330-300 at a special ceremony in Toulouse, France.
Commenting on this achievement, Gustav Humbert, Chief Executive Officer, stressed the significance of this historical day for Airbus. He said: "This is a clear reflection of the company?s success with customers and operators and with the travelling public." Since its creation, Airbus has brought to the market a series of 13 different models covering all market segments from the smallest 107-seat A318 up to the large 555-seat A380 double-decker.
Mr. Humbert continued: "With our most modern production line, we reached half the market share over the past few years. I wish to thank all our customers for their confidence in our products. Our ambition for the future is to continue to develop, produce and deliver products that will respond to ? and even anticipate ? customers? needs. We want to ensure that they get the best in terms of quality and services."
Since its creation, Airbus has received orders for 5,570 aircraft including 544 A330s from 243 operators and 210 customers. This shows a healthy backlog of 1,570 aircraft.
Lufthansa was one of the very early Airbus operators when it took delivery of its first A300 aircraft in 1976, the first wide body twin engine aircraft to be produced by any aircraftmaker. Lufthansa has been a loyal Airbus customer since the early days.
The airline was launch customer for the A310 back in 1978. Lufthansa was also one of the driving forces behind the launch of the A330/A340 programme back in 1987, and contributed significantly to the development of the A320. It became launch customer for the A321 in 1989, and is now, with more than 80 aircraft in service, one of the largest operators of the A320 family. Lufthansa was also a launch customer for the A380 of which it has ordered 15.
Mr. Humbert said: "We are therefore particularly proud that this delivery goes to Lufthansa, an airline which has virtually acquired and ordered all Airbus models from the A300 to the A380. We are also very pleased that this 4,000th aircraft happens to be the highly successful A330-300, as it remains the work horse on the long range medium capacity routes. The A330-300 has been a lynchpin of Airbus' success and has played a key role in many airlines' long haul operations."
The A330-300 is the twin-engine Airbus aircraft which offers the best cost per passenger ratio in its category and is capable of carrying 335 passengers comfortably. A330 airliners have flown over five million operational hours with more than 60 customers and operators. Such popularity lies in the A330's ability to match market requirements more closely in terms of range and efficiency than other aircraft currently on the market whilst continuing to offer the highest levels of technology in terms of structure, aerodynamics, systems and cockpit commonality.
Airbus is an EADS joint company with BAE Systems.