Competition and Economy

Seizing the opportunity: National Aviation Conference 2021

On 18 June 2021, leading representatives from politics, industry and science will meet to make aviation fit-for-future. In the frame of the 2nd National Aviation Conference, the strengthening of aviation after the Corona crisis will be discussed and the pathway to climate neutrality will be paved. One thing is certain: Germany must become the technological leader for green aviation flight.

Aviation enables the fight against the pandemic

The industry has succeeded to secure the delivery of basic supplies to people and businesses during the crisis. The aviation industry has helped maintain supply chains active despite operational hurdles and airports have secured the key infrastructure. In a similar vein, the industrial base of the aviation industry in Germany has demonstrated an impressive resilience to date – in part, thanks to strong support from policymakers. 


Mastering crises, securing the future

Together, the aviation industry and air transport sector employ hundreds of thousands of people with a wide range of professional qualifications. In order to secure jobs and know-how in the future, it is now a matter of mastering the crisis in a sustainable manner and working on the future challenges. The German industry is well prepared for this.



Bk Merkel

The National Aviation Conference paves the way for climate-neutral aviation.

Towards climate-neutral flight

One thing is certain: climate and environmental protection as well international competitiveness must be in the centre. They form the basis of sustainable success after the crisis. The German industry has the necessary know-how for it. With ever more efficient existing technologies, an increased market placement of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and the commissioning of a climate-neutral aircraft from 2035 by Airbus, the path to climate-neutral aviation is mapped out. It is now up to political decision-makers to set the right course. In addition to a strong commitment to promote high technology with Research funding, this requires the set-up of an infrastructure for green hydrogen and SAF. Only this way, it can be ensured that the aircraft of the future comes from Germany and Europe.


Aviation decision-makers meet in Berlin

Mastering these challenges will be the focus of the 2nd National Aviation Conference on 18 June 2021 at BER. The adoption of a joint declaration by political decision-makers, trade unions and industry will provide the necessary impulses and planning security. Chaired by German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel, the Federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer and Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier will discuss as well as Adina Vălean, EU Commissioner for Transport will discuss the future of aviation, alongside industry representatives such as Dirk Hoke, CEO Airbus Defence and Space, Michael Schöllhorn, COO of Airbus, and leading science representatives such as Prof. Dr Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla, Chair of the DLR Executive Board. 


Aviation is facing the greatest challenge of its existence. The Corona crisis has a significant impact on this industry of great strategic importance. Collapses in demand and production, as well as significant demands on border entry, testing and hygiene are creating major difficulties for the aviation industry, airports, air traffic control and air carriers. At the same time, the industry is taking on the challenge of decarbonisation, which can only be mastered with disruptive innovations.

Registration for the digital participation is still possible:


Status: Juni 2021

ILA Goes Digital

ILA has become the world's first virtual aerospace exhibition. This will allow everyone to experience this year's leading innovation show from afar. ILA comprises webinars, product presentations and new creative formats.

The world's oldest aerospace exhibition takes place every other year, but the COVID-19 pandemic does not allow major events this year. ILA underlines its pioneering role and has become the world's first virtual aerospace exhibition. Thus, simple access for all interested parties to topics of the future can be granted.


Seen in the skies above the Berlin ExpoCenter Airport at Schoenefeld, Airbus’ A350-900 test aircraft performs for crowds at Germany’s 2018 ILA Berlin air show

ILA is the world's first virtual aerospace exhibition.

Digitally experience climate-neutral flying

By 2050, aviation shall become climate-neutral. At ILA, the path towards it can be experienced digitally. The largest European research programme, Clean Sky 2, will present the most important activities for a further reduction of CO2 and NOx, including significant projects like new 3D printing technologies, electric propulsion systems and intra-cabin innovations.


Visibility on many channels

Airbus is using the advantages of the virtual ILA to present a wide range of pioneering achievements in military aviation and space. The hashtags #defencematters, #securitymatters and #spacematters visualize the most important projects for the future of aerospace and make them tangible. This includes news, features, videos, infographics, podcasts and virtual panel discussions. These digital formats enable interested people worldwide to access this content directly.

The aerospace industry is driving innovation in Europe. The virtual ILA once more substantiates this important role and especially in these extremely difficult economic times, it underlines the importance of the sector for Germany. The virtual ILA takes place until 31 July 2020.


Innovation and Leadership in Aerospace

The international aerospace exhibition ILA is taking place since 1912. Besides the exhibitions in Le Bourget/Paris and Farnborough/London, ILA is one of the world’s most important aerospace trade fairs. In recent years, ILA has developed from a classic aerospace trade fair to the leading innovation trade fair. It is the most important aerospace exhibition in the EU this year. The history began in the exhibition halls at the zoo in Berlin in April 1912 as part of the “Allgemeine Luftfahrzeug-Ausstellung“. After two world wars, ILA took place at Hanover-Langenhagen Airport, which soon reached its capacity limit. After the reunification, ILA returned to Berlin – and has since taken place at Schönefeld Airport. Today, ILA no longer stands for “Internationale Luft- und Raumfahrtausstellung", but for Innovation and Leadership in Aerospace.   


Stand: Juni 2020

Corona-Crisis: Airbus launches numerous initiatives  

The Corona pandemic denotes the severest crisis for decades. Within an extremely short time, Airbus launched several aid initiatives. At the same time, space technology connects people worldwide. Users of Airbus’ products bring state-of-the-art aircraft into action, saving lives in emergencies every day. 

Crucial supplies for Europe

Protective masks are currently more vital than ever. Europe’s supply is particularly important. Airbus recently initiated air-bridge flights with an A330MRTT and an A330-800, transported millions of urgently needed face masks from China and donated them to hospitals and public services throughout Europe. An A400M thereby supported in distributing the freight from different sites in Europe to the recipients. The air freighter BelugaST transported the first batch of face masks for the German government to Hamburg.

Several million face masks were conveyed by an A350-1000 via the Airbus air-bridge from China to Germany and thereafter to France in order to pass them to the governments of the Airbus home countries - Spain, France, the UK and Germany; supporting COVID-19 measures of containment throughout Europe.

Further to the transport of critical medical goods, Airbus now also produces ventilators and visual covers with 3D printers.

Boxes of protective face masks and other medical supplies are unloaded from an A330-200 after completing a March 2020 supply flight from Tianjin, China – which was operated by a crew from the military aircraft operation of Airbus Defence and Space in Spain

Unloading of the A330MRTT in Getafe, Spain.

Air-bridge between European countries

Hospitals in northern Italy find themselves in a dramatic emergency situation. Capacities are fully utilized and many patients need urgent treatment. The German Armed Forces therefore operate with an Airbus A310 MedEvac. Up to 44 seriously ill patients may be transported in this flying intensive care unit. This mission is now being reinforced by an A400M. As early as last week, the German Armed Forces used an A400M to evacuate patients from France.

Users of Airbus‘ products deploy the A400M also to transport ill patients. This military aircraft also served the Turkish Air Force to deliver medical equipment to Spain and Italy. Thus, time-critical medical appliances, such as face masks, overalls and antibacterial liquids may be delivered within a short time frame.

Operated by an Airbus crew, an A400M airlifter performed an air-bridge between Toulouse, France and Madrid, Spain to deliver critically-needed face mask supplies for the Spanish health system

Loading of the A400M in Getafe, Spain.

Assistance by air

The French Army used NH90 helicopters to evacuate 10 COVID-19 patients from France’s Grand Est region to areas in France, Germany and Switzerland that have been less affected by the outbreak. Emergency rescue helicopters like the Airbus H145, H125 and H130 are inter alia equipped with ventilators, allowing an in-air treatment. When every minute counts, helicopters are a patient’s best chance. Such as a female corona patient, who has been given artificial respiration aboard a H145 of the ADAC air rescue and been to flown to a specialized hospital last weekend.

Airbus delivers COVID-19 masks from Toulouse to Hamburg-Finkenwerder
for German government

Unloading of the air freighter BelugaST.

Environmental change shown by satellite

Restrictions imposed on the public life in large parts of Europe change the environment. Latest images of Copernicus satellite Sentinel-5P show a strong decline of the nitrogen dioxide concentration over several big cities in Europe. This environmental monitoring satellite shows significant changes over Paris, Madrid and Rome compared to previous data (Link to images of ESA).

The crisis also has a major impact on the aerospace industry. Still Airbus will continue to contribute their expertise and capacities so that together, we shall overcome this pandemic.


Status: April 2020

Towards the factory of the future - Hangar 245

A new chapter in aircraft manufacturing was heralded on 1st October with the opening of a new assembly hall in Hamburg. In the hangar, robots and employees will work together to assemble fuselage sections of the A320 family. This will boost the industrial ramp-up and safeguard the competitiveness of the site.

Airbus has invested heavily in the production systems in Hamburg in the past two years and has opened the most advanced A320 assembly hangar to date earlier this month. In this highly automated assembly line, 20 robots will be helping to assemble sections out of individual fuselage shells for the A320 aircraft family. A digital data logging system will support the process to make it even safer and more efficient. Additional laser technology will ensure precision in the production. This sets new standards in digital automation. 


Airbus’ highly-automated fuselage structure assembly line for A320 Family aircraft, located in Hamburg, is responsible for joining single fuselage shells into sections, as well as final assembly of single sections to aircraft fuselages

A modern structure assembly line is starting to operate.

Humans and machines complement each other

In the hangar, humans and robots will work hand in hand. Operations which require particularly complex ergonomic skills will be taken over by machines thereby relieving employees of cumbersome tasks. The A320 aircraft will now be assembled where the parts of the A380 used to be assembled – the global demand for aircraft remains strong. An estimated 39,200 new aircraft will be needed in the coming 20 years.

Hamburg is benefitting from the industrial ramp-up

This year alone, an estimated 60 aircraft from the A320 family will be assembled per month worldwide – more than half of them in Hamburg. This new highly-automated production hangar is an important step into the next era of aircraft production and a milestone towards the factory of the future. This development strengthens the Hamburg location and secures employment on the ground. Within the last twelve months, more than one thousand new employees have been engaged and hundreds of positions are still vacant.

Stand: Oct 2019

Airbus expands high-tech cabin centre in Hamburg

Airbus is enlarging its ‘Airspace Customer Definition Centre' (CDC) at its location in Hamburg for the A320 and A330. The investments strengthen the importance of the location and will secure employment in Hamburg.

Hamburg is one of the three biggest centres for civil aviation worldwide. Every sixth aircraft delivered globally comes from the Elbe river. The location is the heart of the A320 programme as well as one of the most important international delivery centres for the A320 family in the world. Now, the location has been strengthened further.


With the extension of Airbus’ Airspace Customer Definition Centre (CDC), this Hamburg, Germany facility now fully adopts the company’s “Airspace” cabin brand

The expansion of the high-tech cabin centre strengthens Hamburg as an important location for aviation.

Cabins gain importance

The 'Airspace Customer Definition Centre' (CDC) is a strategic investment in the growing market of aircraft cabins. Through the long-haul capabilities of the A320 family and the continued development of the A330neo, the cabins of this aircraft family have become more specialised while offering more adaptations. This trend takes into account the innovative showroom. The CDC meets the call by presenting the customers individual designs and inspiration in a realistic virtual world format.

Since its opening in 2014, the CDC has been used by A350-XWB customers. Starting now, this renowned concept of a faster, simpler and high-tech cabin design process is open to all three of the Airbus aircraft families: the A350, the A330 and the A320.

The cabin of the future will come from Hamburg

With the investments in the CDC, Airbus emphasises the importance of Hamburg as the location for worldwide aircraft manufacturing. This secures highly-skilled jobs in Hamburg and Germany, while also maintaining Germany's competitive advantage in a strategic future-oriented industry. 

Status: June 2019


Pioneering progress: 50 years of Airbus

Airbus turned 50. For this landmark anniversary, Europe’s leading aerospace company is keeping its eye firmly on the future: Hybrid-electric aircraft, new urban air mobility solutions and digitalisation are central pillars.

On 29 May 2019, Airbus celebrated the 50th anniversary of its foundation. On this day in 1969, German Federal Minister of Economic Affairs Karl Schiller and French Minister of Transport Jean Chamant signed the treaty to establish Airbus. It was a clear commitment to European integration. The political foresight and cross-border cooperation altered the global aerospace industry. Out of many separate aerospace companies in Europe, one global market leader emerged.

Also German politics congratulated Airbus on this anniversary. 


Airbus 50 Day 1 Hero Image Hub (1)

German Federal Minister of Economy Karl Schiller and the French Minister of Transport Jean Chamant on 29 May 1969

Today, an Airbus aircraft takes off or lands every second somewhere around the world. Half of all helicopters in operation across the globe have been produced by Airbus Helicopters. And, Airbus Defence and Space maintains Europe’s independent access to space and helps ensure the continent’s security.


The leading edge of innovation


The success of Europe’s aerospace sector is rooted in a strong commitment to non-stop innovation. Now, the pace of innovation is accelerating. Digitalisation is fundamentally changing the aerospace industry, both its products and the way it produces aircraft. The key drivers are automation, big data, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence.


Airbus is a pioneer in the development of electric and hybrid aircraft. The long-term objective: zero-emission flight. To achieve this goal, Airbus develops projects such as the eFan-X, a hybrid-electric aircraft model, as well as alternative fuels.


The fully electric CityAirbus has the potential to transform urban air mobility concepts. With virtually emission-free journeys over short distances, the vertical take-off and landing aircraft will ease congestion in metropolitan areas. The learnings in electric flight can now be applied to larger aircraft.



The Airbus family formation flight – performed in celebration of the company’s 50th anniversary – attracted a large audience in the “fan zone”

A 50-year European success story

Winning the future


We strongly believe Germany and Europe should remain at the forefront of aerospace technology, a sector that is crucial for the continent’s competitiveness, employment, security and strategic autonomy. This will require significant commitments by industry and governments alike. Airbus invests 5% of its revenues in research and technology while German programmes such as the Aviation Research Programme (LuFo, for its abbreviation in German) are catalysts for value-adding innovations that make flying cleaner, quieter and safer. LuFo has already added 28,000 jobs and every invested Euro has a fivefold return.


From this position of strength, Germany should significantly increase its investment in innovation and technology to shape the future of this strategic sector – just as the visionaries of 1969 intended.


Status: May 2019


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