It’s a “family affair” at the 2016 Farnborough International Airshow, where members of Airbus’ popular widebody product line – the new-generation A350 XWB, double-deck A380 and A330 – are flying high this week.
As usual, when the A350 XWB and A380 show up at a major aviation gathering they are must-see attractions. The two sister aircraft have headlined Airbus’ widebody family presence at Farnborough with static displays and flying presentations, while the company also has made commercial announcements so far involving 15 A350 XWBs and four A330neo jetliners.
Together, Airbus’ highly-efficient widebody jetliners offer the capabilities to meet the air transport sector’s growing traffic requirements. They cover a full range of operations – from regional and low-cost flights to long-haul flights on high-yield routes between the world’s biggest aviation hubs, as well as newer routes linking smaller, distant airports.
A350 XWB: delivering new-generation efficiency
The A350 XWB is the latest all-new member of Airbus’ widebody product line – bringing together advanced aerodynamics, design and technologies to provide 25 percent lower seat-mile costs compared to current competitors. Born from a customer-centric approach, the A350 XWB was designed with the market, for the market, enabling production of an aircraft that perfectly meets customers’ expectations.
It entered commercial service in early 2015, and offers seating capacities between 250 and 440 passengers. At the end of June, Airbus had secured 800-plus A350 XWB orders from around the globe, with jetliners already delivered to seven operators: Cathay Pacific Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Finnair, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, TAM and Vietnam Airlines.
A330: dependable and modern
Complementing the A350 XWB in Airbus’ product line is the A330 – which first entered commercial service in 1994 and has received more than 1,600 orders to date. The popular A330 Family is a cornerstone member of Airbus’ widebody product line, recognised by customers worldwide for its superior versatility, cost-effectiveness and reliability.
Airbus spends some 150 million euros each year on enhancements and incremental improvements for the A330 Family. As a result, the A330 is the most efficient aircraft in its class, comprising five in-service variants, as well as two NEO (new engine option) versions that were launched in 2014 and will reduce fuel consumption by a further 14 percent per seat. The first A330neo deliveries are planned for late 2017.
A380: the preferred passenger choice
Airbus’ distinctive A380 is a leader in comfort and efficiency – and the best solution for capturing growth in the air transport industry with a unique ability to attract passengers, stimulate traffic and maximise revenue on high-value routes to and from congested airports.
Nearly 10 years since the first delivery to Singapore Airlines in 2007, Airbus’ A380 jetliner remains a winner with passengers and operators – with the 190 A380s currently flying in commercial service accumulating a dispatch reliability rate of 99.1 percent.
New commercial activity
On a day when the company spotlighted its market-leading widebody product line, a notable commercial announcement for the single-aisle A320 Family made the Farnborough Airshow’s third day a true “Airbus family gathering.”
Synergy Aerospace Corporation, the largest shareholder of Colombia-based Avianca and owner of Avianca Brasil, finalised a purchase agreement for 62 A320neo Family aircraft. The order helped Airbus surpass the 1,000 mark for aircraft sold in Latin America.
Innovation and digitalisation at Airbus
Whether widebody or single-aisle aircraft, a common theme connects Airbus’ market-leading product line: innovation. This pioneering spirit also is evident across all of the company’s activities and Airbus showcased the full range of its innovative approach – as well as its commitment to drive digitalisation in the aerospace industry – with a unique demonstration today.
Airbus used a drone containing a high-definition camera to demonstrate a visual inspection of the A350 XWB aircraft on static display. Flown using an automatic flight control system, and supervised by a human pilot, this inspection approach currently is in validation for use on A330 jetliners after completing the final assembly process prior to customer delivery. Future implementation is envisioned at Airbus final assembly sites around the world.
Innovation saving lives
Another aspect of the company’s innovation was on display during a media briefing hosted by the Airbus Foundation, Airbus Group Innovations (Airbus Group’s global research and technology network) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The three organisations have formed a partnership to explore bringing advanced aerospace technologies to the humanitarian community for helping save lives during disaster relief efforts.
“We see many areas where our business activities and the Airbus Foundation can directly support the humanitarian community in becoming more efficient and finding innovative solutions to the challenges they face,” said Andrea Debbane, Executive Director of the Airbus Foundation.
In other news at the Farnborough Airshow, Airbus also revealed its Supplier Awards today. Find out the winners by reading the related press release.