Airbus delivered today its 7,000th aircraft, an A321, to US Airways – the airline that operates the largest fleet of Airbus aircraft in the world – from the Airbus facility in Hamburg, Germany. This milestone comes just two years after the delivery of Airbus’ 6,000th aircraft which underlines the continued vibrancy of the commercial aviation sector and the market’s clear vote for eco-efficient aircraft.
The 1,000th Airbus delivery was an A340-300 that went to Air France in 1993, nineteen years after the first Airbus aircraft was delivered – an A300B2 also to Air France, in 1974. The 2,000th delivery was six years later in 1999. It took half that time, just three years, to get to the 3,000th delivery in 2002 and three more years to reach 4,000 deliveries. The tempo went up another notch taking Airbus only two years to hand over its 5,000th aircraft, an A330-200 to Qantas in December 2007. The 6,000th Airbus was an A380 which was delivered to Emirates in January 2010.
“It’s particularly fitting that our 7,000th aircraft is an A321 going to US Airways. The airline not only operates the largest fleet of Airbus aircraft in the world; with over 220 A320 Family aircraft flying in US Airways colours today, they also operate the largest fleet of our best-selling, eco-efficient A320 Family,” said Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO. “This milestone is a tribute to the hard work and commitment of Airbus teams around the world. We have improved efficiencies company-wide and this has enabled us to deliver record numbers of latest generation aircraft at continually increasing rates, with an environmental footprint ever decreasing.”
“Airbus has been a long-term strategic partner to US Airways. Today we celebrate a significant milestone in Airbus’ history,” said US Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, Douglas Parker. “It is an honor to be the recipient of their 7,000th delivery. On behalf of the 32,000 employees at US Airways, we applaud this tremendous accomplishment and look forward to a continued successful partnership.”
By the end of the year, US Airways will operate a fleet of 93 A319s, 72 A320s, 63 A321s and 16 A330s. The airline also has firm orders for an additional 58 A320 Family aircraft, eight A330 aircraft and 22 A350 XWBs on backlog.
Over 8,200 A320 Family aircraft have already been ordered and more than 4,900 delivered to more than 340 customers and operators worldwide reaffirming its position as the world’s best-selling single-aisle aircraft family. The A320neo has over 95 percent airframe commonality with the current A320, making it an easy fit into existing fleets while offering up to 500 nautical miles (950 kilometres) more range or two tonnes more payload at a given range.