Paris Air Show 2009: honouring the past and building the future
The 2009 Paris Air Show marked another milestone in Airbus' history as the company celebrated its first 40 years of innovation and set its sights on the future with key new orders and initiatives to keep its momentum for the next four decades.
During the week-long event at Le Bourget Airport, Airbus announced orders and commitments for 127 aircraft with a value of some $12.9 billion; performed an historic flight demonstration with its single-aisle and widebody jetliner product lines; provided a glimpse into the future with a special video presentation on the A350 XWB's development; and underscored the leading-edge technologies and systems that contribute to the efficiency and eco-friendliness of its product line.
President and CEO Thomas Enders said the Paris Air Show confirmed that Airbus' long-term confidence in the air transport industry is well placed - and its jetliners will continue to meet customers' requirements.
"While there is no doubt that we have a global economic crisis, the fact that Airbus has sold over 100 aircraft here at Le Bourget is very remarkable, and it demonstrates the skies are not falling upon us," Enders explained. "It also confirms there is still a demand for our efficient aircraft from bullish airlines around the world."
Firm orders announced at the Paris Air Show were for Airbus' single-aisle A320 Family and its new A350 XWB. A total of 48 A320 Family aircraft were ordered by Qatar Airways, Vietnam Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Aigle Azur, Zest Air, and a private customer; while AirAsia X expanded the A350 XWB's growing order book with a firm order for 10 A350-900s.
Additional new business revealed at the Paris Air Show involved memoranda of understanding (MoUs) for a further 69 aircraft: 50 A320s for Wizz Air, 10 A321s for Paramount Airways, two A330-200s plus five A330-300s for Turkish Airlines, and two A350-900s for Vietnam Airlines.
The 2009 Paris Air Show also was a key part of Airbus' ongoing 40-year anniversary celebration, and included an historic flight demonstration of the A300, A320, A340 and A380 at Le Bourget Airport - which was witnessed by some of the company's pioneering managers, engineers and pilots.
"These veterans' eyes still glow when they speak about Airbus, and it is important to remember that while they had plenty of challenges in their time - as we do today - they were able to lay the foundation for Airbus," Enders said. "This is a big motivation for all of us in building Airbus' success during the next 40 years."
Looking to the future, many of the innovations planned for Airbus' growing aircraft family over the near- and long-term were outlined for Paris Air Show visitors at Le Bourget, including new initiatives in aircraft and systems design, and cabin outfitting.