New equipment installation hangar for the A321XLR opens in Hamburg

Milestone in aircraft production: Airbus has opened a new, highly automated hangar for equipping the A321XLR in Hamburg in the presence of the Mayor of Hamburg, Dr. Peter Tschentscher, and Dr. Anna Christmann, Federal Government Coordinator for German Aerospace.

 

With the new hangar, Airbus continues the modernisation and digitisation of its industrial system and expands its capacity for the rate ramp-up in the A320 program to 75 aircraft per month in 2026.

The A321XLR is the next evolution of the A320neo, offering an unprecedented range (Xtra Long Range) of up to 4,700nm – 15% more than the A321LR and 30% lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation competitor aircraft, as well as lower NOx emissions and less noise. There are currently almost 570 orders for the A321XLR from 27 customers worldwide. Entry into service is planned for the second quarter of 2024.
 

Latest benchmark in production and sustainability

“Airbus’ Hamburg site plays a significant role in the development and production of the A321XLR. With our new, state-of-the-art equipment installation hangar, we are now expanding our capacity to manufacture A321 fuselages and making an important contribution to supporting our ramp up. At the same time we are reaffirming the importance of Hamburg for Airbus,” said André Walter, Head of Airbus Commercial Aircraft Production in Germany. "The latest standards in production and sustainability were taken into account when designing the building." A 3,000m² photovoltaic system on the roof supplies the hangar with electricity.

20230830-Hangar-259-Inauguration
Opening of the new A321XLR equipment assembly hall in Hamburg with First Mayor Dr. Peter Tschentscher (left) and Dr. Anna Christmann, Federal Government Coordinator for German Aerospace.

"The investment in the A321XLR equipment assembly at the Hamburg site is an important step towards the transformation of aviation towards climate neutrality. The transformation is the key to making Germany a future-proof and competitive aviation location," said Dr. Anna Christmann, the federal government's coordinator for German aviation and space travel. "I am pleased that Airbus is positioning itself as a pioneer in sustainable aviation and that we are pulling together to advance climate-neutral aviation even faster."
 

Up to eight fuselage sections simultaneously

The new equipment assembly hall with a production area of ​​9,600m² is used to equip the rear fuselages of the A321XLR, which are built in Hamburg. The hangar contains state-of-the-art technologies for operation and manufacturing. The almost 24-metre-long fuselage sections are equipped with all electrical and mechanical systems, as well as other elements such as windows, floor panels or external antennas, on an automated ‘pulse line’ consisting of eight stations. The finished fuselage sections are then handed over to the final assembly line in Hamburg.

 

Status: Sept 2023

Record: 600th aircraft delivery to Lufthansa

Airbus has delivered more aircraft to Lufthansa Group than to any other airline. On 9 February 1976, the handover of an Airbus A300B2 to the largest German airline laid the foundation for a strong partnership lasting almost 50 years. A unique milestone has now followed.

With more than ten different aircraft models operated by all Lufthansa Group airlines, the 600th aircraft – an Airbus A321neo – was recently delivered to Lufthansa in a festive ceremony at the Airbus factory site in Hamburg-Finkenwerder.


"Lufthansa and Airbus have been partners since the first A300, delivered in February 1976," said Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury. “Since then, the carrier has taken delivery of an average of one Airbus aircraft per month – that adds up to 600 in almost 50 years! No other airline group has received more deliveries to date. We look forward to the next 50 years of our partnership, united in the goal of sustainable aviation.”


Four-time launch customer and third largest A350 customer

In 1975, Lufthansa signed the first order for three A300B2s and seven months later, on February 9, 1976, received the first aircraft from the new European aircraft manufacturer. In the coming years, first deliveries followed, such as the A310 in 1983 and the A300-600 in 1987. In October 1989, the first Airbus A320 was delivered to Lufthansa. More than 370 aircraft of the A320 family are currently flying for the airlines in the Lufthansa Group. The Airbus A340 was added in 1993, and just one year later the Lufthansa Airbus fleet already numbered 100 aircraft. In 2004 the A330 and in 2010 the world's largest passenger aircraft – the A380 – became part of Lufthansa's long-haul fleet.

A321neo

To date, Lufthansa has been the launch customer of a new aircraft type four times – with first deliveries of the A310, A340, A220 and, in 2016, the A320neo. Not only is the A320 family an essential part of the Lufthansa fleet, but the A350-900, introduced in 2016, has also been a fixture in Lufthansa's long-haul fleet ever since. The Lufthansa Group is the third largest A350 customer worldwide.


Lufthansa and Airbus collaborate in the area of sustainability

Cooperation in the area of sustainability is a crucial part of the partnership. Over the past three decades, the Lufthansa Group has equipped several Airbus long-haul aircraft with measuring instruments for climate and weather research. In addition to three Airbus jets, which are currently collecting climate-relevant data for science on a daily basis, Lufthansa is currently converting a Lufthansa Airbus A350-900 into a research aircraft in a project that is unique worldwide together with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.


In 2011, Lufthansa was the first airline to test biofuel in daily flight operations. For around six months, an A321 flew between Hamburg and Frankfurt with an engine that was half powered by bio-synthetic kerosene. In the same year, Lufthansa, together with the Jülich research center, started a long-term observation of the earth's atmosphere by scheduled flight that was new for climate research. For this purpose, atmospheric trace substances were recorded by a Lufthansa Airbus A340-300 during regular flight operations.


Status: June 2023

Airbus to hire again in 2023: 3500 new employees

The workforce in Germany is growing. After 3500 hires last year, Airbus will welcome thousands of new employees at its German sites again this year. 

Airbus plans to hire 13,000 new employees in 2023, including 3,500 in Germany. Of these, a good half (1,900) will be in the commercial aviation division Airbus Commercial, with a focus on Hamburg. The Hanseatic city is the center of excellence for the A320 family, the most modern, quietest and lowest-emission short- and medium-haul aircraft ever built. The production ramp-up continues to gather pace in 2023, not least because airlines are looking to replace older models. 

At Airbus Defence and Space, where 1100 new employees are being sought, the main drivers are the FCAS and Eurodrone programs, as well as Cyber Security. At Airbus Helicopters, 500 hires are on the agenda, particularly for the ramp-up of the H135 and H145 models and in the military programs. In addition, there is progress in the CityAirbus program, the increasing focus on environmentally friendly technologies and the digitalization of the product range.
 

Strong increase already in 2022 

Already 2022 was a year of ramp-up. Despite all the challenges, Airbus has hired a total of 13,000 employees worldwide, including 3,500 in Germany. The civil aviation division accounted for 50%, Airbus Defence & Space for 30% and Airbus Helicopters for another fifth. This was the steepest increase in the number of employees in Airbus' history. In total, the company received more than 600,000 applications worldwide, underlining its attractiveness as an employer. 

Blue collars workers in fuselage

Shaping the future 

About one-fifth of the planned hires are focused on preparing the future of aerospace, with positions in areas such as decarbonization, digital transformation, software development and cybertechnology. These hires will be instrumental in enabling Airbus' industrial ramp-up and ambitious decarbonization plan. 

Diversity and youth are emphasized. For example, Airbus has a target of filling 33% of vacancies with women. Today, 20% of the workforce is female. Airbus will rely on entry-level employees for one-third of its hires. Last year, more than 600 apprentices and dual students started at Airbus in Germany. For 2023 and 2024, the company we planning with further record numbers.

 

Status: Dec 2022

The world’s most modern government aircraft

Germany now has the most modern government aircraft in the world. The Bundeswehr was recently handed over the second of three Airbus A350-900XWBs – the first with a fully-fledged government cabin.

The twin engine long-haul aircraft with the name “Konrad Adenauer” will strengthen the Federal Ministry of Defence’s readiness to fly on long-haul routes with immediate effect. The mission: to bring officials such as the Federal Chancellor, Federal President, ministers and members of the Bundestag to state visits and important events around the world.

The aircraft was handed over to Lufthansa Technik by Airbus in March 2021. The Konrad Adenauer received its special interior design in Hamburg. The fully equipped government cabin for political and parliamentary flight operations includes a work and conference area with several offices, bedrooms and an intensive care unit as well as a multifunctional lounge area. The rest of the cabin with passenger seats is intended for accompanying delegations.
 

High-Tech and 25% less CO2

The Airbus A350XWB is the most modern long-haul aircraft in the world. The twin-engine aircraft of the Special Air Mission Wing has a range of about 18,000 kilometres. High technology and innovative materials reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 25% compared to previous models. “This is our ‘Air Force One’” said State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, Siemtje Möller, at the handover. She stated that no other aircraft was as well-equipped as the new Airbus.

A350-900

Third A350XWB already in production

The government aircraft inherits the previous model Airbus A340-300. In total, the Bundeswehr ordered three Airbus A350 long-haul aircraft in 2019. The first is called “Kurt Schuhmacher” and was delivered in August 2020. To speed up delivery, she has not yet been fitted with the full government cabin. The third Airbus A350, which is to be christened “Theodor Heuss”, is currently in production and will also be fitted out with the full interior by Lufthansa Technik. After all three government aircraft have been handed over, the Kurt Schuhmacher will be retrofitted with the fully-fledged government cabin. The Federal Ministry of Defence’s flight readiness will then have the world’s most modern and efficient fleet for long-haul political and parliamentary flight operations.

 

Status: Dec 2022


 

Helicopters: More mobility, fewer emissions

They protect and save lives, secure important supply routes, and enable a low-carbon future for inner-city traffic: helicopters. Market leader Airbus Helicopters made the future of rotorcraft tangible at the European Rotors in Cologne.

The German headquarters of Airbus Helicopters and the country’s competence center is in Donauwörth, where almost 7,000 employees drive the production, maintenance, and development of the technology leader.

The location is significantly involved in the development of the four-seater CityAirbus NextGen. With a range of 80km and a top speed of 120km/h, the all-electric vertical take-off (eVTOL) will open up new opportunities for our cities for low-carbon mobility. Urban Air Mobility is no longer a vision, but a technology that is being developed in Germany today.
 

Goal: 100 percent SAF by 2030

In addition to the City Airbus NextGen, Airbus presented other models at the European Rotors, such as the new H160, for which orders have already been booked. DRF Luftrettung ordered two additional H145s with five-blade rotors. Other customers concluded service contracts for their cleets. In addition to safety, reliability and cost, sustainability is playing an increasingly important role. Airbus Helicopters is working with urgency to ensure that all helicopter models can fly with pure, sustainable fuel (SAF) by 2030.

The first text flight of a helicopter with 100% SAF took place in June 2022. When using pure SAF, up to 90% CO2 can be saved.

H225 SAF

In two years, to number two in the world

European Rotors was formed through an agreement between the European Helicopter Association (EHA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). In just two years, the European Rotors has developed into the second largest helicopter trade fair in the world. Exhibitors from all areas of the rotorcraft industry were represented in Cologne in November 2022.

 

Status: Nov 2022


 

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