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Maintaining commercial aircraft market leadership (2018)

Commercial Aircraft 12 January 2018

Airbus family formation flight

Airbus family formation flight

A formation of Airbus’ in-service aircraft types takes to the sky: the A320, A330, A350 XWB and A380.

Airbus is well positioned to maintain its commercial aircraft market leadership in 2018 and beyond, building on the company-record 718 jetliners delivered in 2017, the 1,109 net orders logged during the 12 months, and an industry-record 7,265 aircraft on its order books at year-end.

From its four A320 Family final assembly line facilities in Hamburg, Germany; Tianjin, China; Mobile, United States; and Toulouse, France, Airbus is on track to achieve an output rate of 60 A320 Family single-aisle aircraft per month by mid-2019. Meanwhile, the A350 XWB is equally on track for a rate of 10 per month by the end of 2018.

A major boost for the flagship A380

A380 Family 18 January 2018

Emirates signs MoU for 36 A380s 4

Emirates, based in Dubai, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to acquire up to 36 additional double-deck A380s to join their fleet

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An A380 takes off or lands somewhere in the world every two minutes.

Emirates, already the largest airline customer of the double-deck Airbus A380, recommitted itself to the iconic jetliner with the January signing of a memorandum of understanding for the acquisition of 20 A380s and an option for 16 more. Deliveries are to start in 2020.

Following delivery of its first A380 in July 2008, Emirates took its 100th A380 in late 2017.

The world’s largest passenger jetliner, the widebody A380 features a second full-length deck, giving it the ability to carry 60 percent more passengers per trip than any other aircraft, making it the perfect solution to airport congestion, fleet plan optimization and traffic growth.

Capitalising on the popularity of the iflyA380 website, Airbus released a mobile iOS app version in January. Making flying aboard the spacious A380 a matter of choice rather than chance, both the website and app allow users to browse all available A380 flights and select one of the 53 worldwide destinations served by the flagship jetliner. With the desired departure city, destination and travel dates chosen, booking is finalised through the selected airline at no additional cost. The app further enhances the onboard experience, immersing travellers in Apple’s augmented and virtual reality functionalities.

In another development, Portugal’s Hi Fly began offering an A380 for ‘wet lease’ – an arrangement that provides the aircraft with its crew, maintenance and insurance. The A380 offered for lease by Hi Fly is a second-hand aircraft previously flown by a scheduled airline, and is from the inventory of Doric GmbH as the asset-owner and lessor to Hi Fly.

Ten years of the A380 at Heathrow Airport

Airbus and Heathrow Airport celebrated 10 years of A380 operations in March at what is the world’s busiest A380 airport in terms of the number of operators flying Airbus’ flagship aircraft to and from this major international destination. Singapore Airlines, the first carrier to fly an A380 into Heathrow in 2008, has since been joined by eight other airlines that operate some 50 A380 daily flights. Heathrow serves 78 million passengers a year, of which 10 percent travel on the A380.

First delivery of the A350-1000

Commercial Aircraft 20 February 2018

Airbus delivers first A350-1000 to Qatar Airways – 10

Airbus’ A350-1000 is lit up in a nighttime ceremony in the Toulouse region of France celebrating the handover of the aircraft to Qatar Airways, the launch operator of the new jetliner

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Qatar Airways became the global launch operator of the A350-1000 with a delivery ceremony in February.

Following joint certification in November 2017 by both the European and American airworthiness authorities (EASA and FAA), the first A350-1000 was delivered to launch operator Qatar Airways in February – the same airline that received the first A350-900 variant in 2014. The delivery followed a tour across the Middle East and Asia-Pacific region performed by a demonstration aircraft that visited 12 cities and spanned some 64,000 kilometres.

Cathay Pacific expanded its A350 XWB fleet with the A350-1000, becoming the second operator of this longer-fuselage version in June.

The latest member of the Airbus A350 XWB Family, the A350-1000 shares a high level of commonality with the shorter A350-900, allowing airlines to economically operate both variants. Designed for upsized efficiency, maximum reliability and unique passenger comfort in its Airspace cabin, the A350-1000’s fuselage is seven metres longer than the A350-900, providing greater capacity (40 more seats in a typical three-class cabin configuration) that perfectly matches airlines’ needs on their busiest long-haul routes while giving the flexibility to provide a larger premium seating area.

The Ultra Long Range A350 XWB enters service

Airbus A350 900ULR Singapore New York
A350 XWB 12 October 2018

Airbus A350 900ULR Singapore New York

Singapore Airlines’ initial Airbus A350-900ULR – the first of seven such aircraft to join its growing fleet of A350 XWBs – takes off before covering nearly 9,000 nautical miles between Singapore and New York

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The A350-900ULR’s first revenue flight – operated by launch customer Singapore Airlines – was completed in October.

Airbus’ Ultra Long Range A350 XWB version, which is able to fly farther than any other commercial airliner, completed its first commercial flight with launch customer Singapore Airlines in October. The aircraft – an A350-900ULR version – was delivered the previous month.

With a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 280 tonnes, this variant of the best-selling A350 XWB is capable of flying over 20 hours non-stop. Singapore Airlines will use the aircraft on non-stop flights between Singapore and the U.S., including the world’s longest commercial service between Singapore and New York.

The Ultra Long Range A350 XWB performed its maiden flight in April, initiating a short flight test programme to certify changes over the standard A350-900 that will extend its range capability to 9,700 nautical miles. This activity used one of the seven aircraft ordered by Singapore Airlines, all of which are in various stages of assembly.

An expanding A330neo Family

Commercial Aircraft 12 July 2018

A330-900neo in flight 1

The A330-900neo – the extended-fuselage member of Airbus’ A330neo product line – can accommodate 287 seats in a typical three-class layout or up to 440 for high-density configurations

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Airbus’ A330-900 jetliner, which has unparalleled efficiency and flexibility, received its Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on 26 September 2018.

The year 2018 has brought important milestones for both members of Airbus’ A330neo Family. In September, the A330-900 version received its Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency, following a fast-paced campaign that involved around 1,400 flight test hours. This clears the way for its first delivery before the end of the year.

The A330neo Family’s newest member, the A330-800, completed its first flight in November, initiating this aircraft’s certification campaign.  Building on the success of the A330-200 – more than 600 of which are in operation – the A330-800 brings new-generation economics and comfort along with unprecedented range to the 250-seat airliner market. Together with the larger 300-seat A330-900, the aircraft share 99 percent commonality, having the same airframe, engines and cross-crew training.

Ramping up production in Tianjin, China

Press kits 09 January 2018

Airbus Tianjin FAL - Photo 2

In the presence of visiting French President Emmanuel Macron and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Airbus has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Development and Reform Commission of China (NDRC) on the further development of industrial cooperation in Tianjin. The agreement was signed by He Lifeng, Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus COO and President Commercial Aircraft in Beijing today. Both sides agree to further enhance their industrial partnership in Tianjin and strengthen the cooperation with regards to technical innovation, engineering capabilities and supply chain expansion.

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Since its inauguration in 2008, the final assembly line in Tianjin has produced a total of 354 A320 Family aircraft (as of year-end 2017).

Airbus and its Chinese partners signed a framework agreement in January to ramp up the production rate of A320 Family aircraft at its final assembly line in Tianjin, China to six aircraft per month by early 2020. The agreement, signed in the presence of visiting French President Emmanuel Macron and Chinese President Xi Jinping, also included a memorandum of understanding to enhance Airbus’ industrial partnership in Tianjin and strengthen cooperation with regards to technical innovation, engineering capabilities and supply chain expansion.

Airbus’ industrial footprint in China dates back to 1985, when the first product subcontracting agreement was signed with Xi’an Aircraft Company. In 2017, the total value of industrial cooperation between Airbus and the Chinese aviation industry amounted to nearly $600 million.

A320 Family additions: A321neo Cabin Flex & A321LR

A321neo ACF Roll Out Michael Lindner Phone:+49.1725411578
Commercial Aircraft 05 January 2018

A321neo ACF Roll Out

Airbus rolls out its first A321neo ACF (Airbus Cabin Flex) in Hamburg with the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Statue of Liberty in New York illustrating its transatlantic flight capability on its livery

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The A321LR has the longest range of any single-aisle jetliner, with an increased maximum take-off weight of 97 tonnes (compared to 93.5 tonnes for the A321).

Airbus delivered the first A321neo with the Cabin Flex configuration to Turkish Airlines in July. This version is the latest addition to the successful A320 Family. By applying modifications to the fuselage, it enables flexible cabin configurations for up to 240 passengers.

Compared to the previous A321 variant, the most visible modifications in the Cabin Flex configuration are a new rear section and a modified passenger door configuration, where the door located forward of the wing is removed and new overwing emergency exits in the centre section are introduced. The A321neo in Cabin Flex configuration is an option today and will become standard for all A321neos around 2020. 

The A321neo in Cabin Flex configuration is also the base for the longer-range variant known as the A321LR. The A321LR has an increased MTOW (Maximum Take-Off Weight) of 97 tonnes and up to three underfloor Additional Centre Tanks (ACTs), allowing airlines to increase its range to 4,000 nautical miles for intercontinental flights.

The A321LR completed its maiden flight in January from Airbus’ industrial facility in Hamburg, Germany and flew a Paris-New York route the following month, demonstrating the ability to serve new markets and operate on heavily-travelled North Atlantic routes with the highest levels of efficiency and comfort.

In late March, the A321LR underscored its impressive range with a record-breaking flight from Mahé in the Seychelles islands to Toulouse, France – covering a total distance of 4,750 nautical miles in 11 hours. To make flight conditions as realistic as possible while evaluating cabin systems, the A321LR carried 162 human heat-replicating dummy passengers in addition to its 16-member test crew.

These flights were part of nearly 100 hours of tests performed by Airbus as the company sought A321LR type certification from the European and American airworthiness certifying authorities – which was received in October. Deliveries to airline customers are expected beginning in the fourth quarter of this year.

A European-Canadian partnership for the A220

Commercial Aircraft 26 October 2018

First A220 delivery to Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines’ first A220-100, delivered on 26 October 2018, will enter service in early 2019 – making Delta the fourth global airline to operate the aircraft previously known as the Bombardier C Series

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Delta Air Lines is the first U.S. carrier to receive an A220, with this aircraft type scheduled to begin service in early 2019.

A milestone partnership between Airbus and Canada’s Bombardier took effect in July with Airbus acquiring a majority stake in the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP). This entity manufactures and sells Bombardier’s single-aisle C Series jets: the CS100 and CS300, which are renamed the A220-100 and A220-300 as new members of Airbus’ single-aisle aircraft family.

By combining the global reach and scale of Airbus with the state-of-the-art aircraft from Bombardier, Airbus aims to unlock the potential of the A220 Family, creating significant new value for customers, suppliers, employees and shareholders. The partnership brings together two complementary product lines – the A220 Family and the A320 Family – in the 100-150 seat market segment, which is projected to require 7,000 new aircraft over the next 20 years.

A220 Family jets destined for all local and worldwide customers outside of the U.S. will be produced at the Mirabel final assembly line in Quebec, Canada, while A220 Family aircraft for U.S. markets will be produced at Airbus’ facility in Mobile, Alabama (currently home to an A320 production line). Delta Air Lines became the first U.S. carrier to take delivery of an A220 aircraft in October 2018.

BelugaXL takes to the skies

BelugaXL 19 July 2018

BelugaXL First Flight Landing

The BelugaXL’s maiden flight – which began and concluded at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport on 19 July 2018 – initiated a certification campaign that will lead to this next-generation oversize airlifter’s service entry in 2019

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The BelugaXL’s first flight on 19 July was performed from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in France, where the large airlifter was assembled.

The first BelugaXL – Airbus’ next-generation super airlifter – performed its maiden flight on 19 July, initiating a flight test campaign of some 600 hours during 10 months to achieve Type Certification and entry into service in 2019.

Airbus will operate a fleet of five BelugaXLs to transport completed sections of Airbus aircraft among the company’s European production sites and to its final assembly lines in France, Germany and Spain.

As one of the largest aircraft in existence, the new-generation transporters are six metres longer and one metre wider than the five A300-600 ST Super Transporters they will replace, with a payload lifting capacity six tonnes greater. BelugaXL will be able to carry both wings of the A350 XWB jetliner at once, instead of the single wing currently accommodated on the Beluga ST.

Expanding single-aisle jetliner production in Germany

Commercial Aircraft 14 June 2018

Hamburg production line inauguration 2

Airbus’ newest production line in Hamburg, Germany drives efficiency with new standards in digitalisation and automation, including two seven-axis robotic arms that perform precise fuselage drilling

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Airbus’ newest production line in Hamburg, Germany drives efficiency with new standards in digitalisation and automation, including two seven-axis robotic arms that perform precise fuselage drilling.

Airbus inaugurated a new production line in Hamburg, Germany in June for the A320 Family. This is the fourth at Airbus’ Hamburg-Finkenwerder final assembly line, or FAL, for the best-selling single-aisle product line, and the company’s 11th overall worldwide for its single-aisle and widebody jetliners.

Hamburg’s newest production line is a state-of-the-art facility incorporating the latest standards in assembly technology and contributes to Airbus’ sustained high-rate production for the A320 Family. The FAL is paired with a new delivery centre from which Airbus customers receive their completed aircraft at Hamburg-Finkenwerder.

In addition to Hamburg-Finkenwerder’s four A320 Family production lines, Airbus operates two final assembly lines for the single-aisle jetliner in Toulouse, France; along with one each at Tianjin, China; and in the United States’ city of Mobile, Alabama.

Skywise aviation data platform grows

Airbus signed a five-year agreement with easyJet in March to provide predictive maintenance services for the carrier’s entire fleet of nearly 300 aircraft. The technology relies on Skywise, Airbus’ digital platform that collects in-service data to provide maintenance crews with the information needed to intervene early and replace parts before a component’s failure, thereby preventing passengers from experiencing unnecessary delays and cancellations.

The full aircraft history (1968 to 2018)

Positioned for the future (2017)

Maintaining market leadership (2018)

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