The number of in-service Airbus commercial aircraft in North America reached a new high of 1,500 following the delivery of an A321 to American Airlines on Friday. The company delivered its first North American-operated aircraft to U.S.-based Eastern Airlines in 1977 and has gone on to tally more than 2,000 orders with 25 airline companies and lessors in the region.
A celebration was held at the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, AL, with delivery teams from American Airlines and Airbus marking the milestone.
Paul Oliver, Vice President-Customer Services for Airbus Americas, praised the teamwork of both Airbus and American citing their commitment to hard work in advancing the future of airline transportation. “This milestone showcases the continued growth of commercial aviation in North America – and our four decades of commitment to providing the right aircraft at the right time with benchmark customer support for our customers. We’re proud to recognize this milestone with our partners at American Airlines, and it’s gratifying for it to happen with an aircraft built in the U.S.”
American Airlines operates more Airbus passenger aircraft than any other airline in the world. Since the first delivery of 25 Airbus aircraft to American in 1988 and 1989, the relationship between both companies has grown, with American now flying 416 Airbus aircraft in their fleet, with another 122 on order.
Joe Maloy, Director of Fleet Acquisitions, Dispositions and Records for American Airlines was in Mobile to accept the aircraft. “As the world’s largest operator of Airbus aircraft, American Airlines is proud to accept the 1500th in-service Airbus aircraft in North America, and that the aircraft was built at the state-of-the-art manufacturing site in Mobile, Alabama. American greatly values our relationship with Airbus. Congratulations to Airbus for reaching this milestone!” he said.
The 1,500 in-service aircraft milestone exemplifies the growing need in North America for Airbus commercial aircraft. In its lifetime, Airbus has globally received 17,287 orders across its product line, with more than 10,000 delivered. Over the next 20 years, Airbus predicts that more than 5,900 new aircraft will be required in North America.