Airbus demonstrated its continued market leadership with a high-profile Berlin Air Show appearance that included new orders and commitments, along with the milestone public debut of Airbus Military’s multi-role A400M airlifter.
Leading the week’s business announcements – which totalled 67 aircraft at a value of more than $15.3 billion – was a firm order by Emirates for 32 additional A380s. This agreement represents the largest order in civil aviation history (by U.S. dollar value), and brings the total number of 21st century Airbus flagship jetliners acquired by the Dubai-based carrier to 90.
Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders described this historic purchase as a “strong sign of confidence” for the A380 – coming from an airline that currently operates 10 aircraft on a growing international route network.
The other commercial announcements during the 2010 Berlin Air Show included commitments for 35 aircraft. They entailed five A321s for Finnair, which made this carrier the first to endorse Airbus’ new Sharklet fuel-saving wing tip devices; five additional A350-900s and 20 A320 Family aircraft for Latin America’s TAM Airlines; and five A319s for Germania – a new customer that will use these aircraft to start a complete fleet transition to Airbus’ eco-efficient single-aisle jetliner.
Highlighting the Berlin Air Show’s flying display was Airbus’ newest aircraft, the A400M – which showcased its rapid climb-out capabilities, excellent slow-speed handling qualities and excellent manoeuvrability during flight demonstrations.
Berlin-Schönefeld Airport also welcomed three different A380s during the week – an air show record. Emirates’ 10th A380 was joined at the show’s opening by the no. 1 aircraft for Lufthansa – which will be used in inaugurating the German airline’s A380 revenue service this month. After the departure of these two aircraft from Berlin, Airbus brought its own A380 flight test aircraft for the show’s final days.
Also making an appearance was the 50th A320 Family aircraft for Air Berlin, which was handed over during an 8 June ceremony on the air show’s static display line.
Additional Airbus activity at this year’s Berlin Air Show included the launch of a new species conservation project – which aims to strengthen the Northern Bald Ibis population, and reinforces the company’s goal of lessening air transport’s environmental impact.
See the special website for more stories, videos and photos from Airbus’ participation in the 2010 Berlin Air Show.