– Airbus Builds 1,000 Eco-Efficient Aircraft In Just Under Two Years

December 12, 2011 — 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.

First A320 For National Carrier Welcomed In Vientiane

November 8, 2011 — Lao Airlines, the national carrier of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos), has taken delivery of the first of two A320 aircraft ordered from Airbus. The new aircraft was welcomed in the Lao capital Vientiane at a special ceremony today attended by Somsavat Lengsavad, Deputy Prime Minister of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Thierry Mariani, French Minister of Transport.

The second A320 ordered by Lao Airlines is scheduled to arrive in Vientiane next month, with the aircraft entering service on routes to key destinations in South East Asia, including Bangkok and Singapore. The A320s are the first jet aircraft to be purchased by Lao Airlines and feature a high comfort two class layout seating 126 passengers in the main cabin and 16 in Business Class. The aircraft are powered by CFM56 engines from CFM International.

“The A320 will see Lao Airlines introduce a new level of premium service as we expand our international route network,” said Somphone Douangdara, President of Lao Airlines. “In addition to the highest standards of in-flight comfort, Lao Airlines will also benefit from the extremely low operating costs offered by these modern, fuel-efficient aircraft.”

“We are pleased to welcome Lao Airlines as a new Airbus operator,” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer, Customers, Airbus. “With the A320 in its fleet, Lao Airlines joins over 260 airlines worldwide operating the industry’s best-selling single aisle product line, offering proven passenger appeal, outstanding reliability and unbeatable operating costs.”

The A320 Family (A318, A319, A320 and A321) is recognised as the benchmark in its class. With more than 7,900 aircraft sold and over 4,800 delivered, it is the world’s most successful single-aisle aircraft product line.

November 4, 2011 —Peach Aviation, Japan’s first low-cost carrier, has taken delivery of its first A320 in Toulouse, France, through a leasing contract with GECAS last Friday. The Japanese carrier will lease 10 A320s.

Peach Aviation’s A320 aircraft seats 180 passengers in a single-class layout and is powered by CFM International engines.

“We are delighted to take delivery of our first brand-new Airbus A320”, Peach Aviation President Shinichi Inoue said during the ceremony. “With a complete new fleet of A320’s, we aim at establishing a new low-cost business model in Japan. The world’s standard single-aisle aircraft will enable us to offer attractive airfares in the competitive Japanese market”, he added.

“We are pleased to play a major role in the historical launch of Peach, the first Japan-based low-cost airline”, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers John Leahy said. “The A320 offers unmatched efficiency and reliability levels and is clearly the aircraft of choice for low-cost carriers around the world. This is the start of a long-term partnership, and we welcome Peach as our newest A320 operator.”

Peach Aviation was established by All Nippon Airways (ANA), First Eastern Investment Group (First Eastern) in Hong Kong and Innovation Network Corporation of Japan. The Osaka-based company will start operations from Kansai airport in March 2012, first on domestic routes, and then internationally across Asia.

As of today, more than 7,900 Airbus A320 Family aircraft have been sold to more than 340 customers and operators worldwide, making it the world’s best selling commercial jetliner ever. With proven reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single-aisle aircraft. Uniquely, the A320 Family offers a containerized cargo system, which is compatible with the world wide standard wide-body system and facilitates quick turn-around times at airports.

First Operator Of World’s Most Eco-Efficient Airliner In China

October 14, 2011 — Airbus has delivered the first A380 to China Southern Airlines. During a very special celebration ceremony today at the Airbus Delivery Centre in Toulouse, France, the first out of five aircraft ordered was handed over from Airbus President and CEO, Tom Enders to China Southern Airlines Chairman, Si Xianmin.

China Southern Airlines becomes the first operator of the world’s most eco-efficient aircraft in China and the 7th globally. Powered by Rolls-Royce Trend-900 engines, the aircraft will be initially operated on domestic routes between the major Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Later on, the airline will deploy the A380 on international routes.

At the ceremony, China Southern Airlines unveiled its spacious and comfortable A380 cabin, featuring a total of 506 seats in a typical three class configuration, including eight luxury first-class suites, 70 lie-flat business-class seats and 428 economy-class seats. Passengers’ well–being will be enhanced through innovative mood lighting including several different lighting scenarios to create a relaxing atmosphere and environment. The state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system makes it easy for passengers to select from a wide variety of audio and video programs and make their long-haul A380 trip something to remember. The cabin also offers seats and lavatories that are easily accessible to disabled passengers.

“We are proud to become the first A380 operator in China,” said Si Xianmin, Chairman of China Southern Airlines. “The introduction of the A380 in our fleet is a very important step for the development of China Southern. This most spacious and modern aircraft enables us, to offer our passengers world-standard comfort on our flights. The economics offered by the A380 will undoubtedly improve our competitiveness on international routes and is the perfect asset to make China Southern Airlines achieve its goal of becoming a leading global carrier.”

“We offer China Southern Airlines our warmest welcome as the newest operator of the A380,” said Tom Enders, President and CEO of Airbus. “The A380 has set new standards in comfort, economic efficiency and environmental performance. With the A380, China Southern Airlines will surely play a key role in the top league of the world’s leading airlines.”

Since entering service in 2007 the eco-efficient A380 has exceeded all expectations, flying more people further at lower cost (some 16 million passengers up to date). The spacious, the quieter cabin and the smooth ride have made the aircraft a favourite with passengers. This has resulted in higher than average load factors and increased profitability on A380 flights, providing airlines with a key competitive advantage wherever they operate the type. Typically seating 525 passengers in a three class layout, the A380 is capable of flying 8,300 nautical miles or 15,300 kilometres.

July 13, 2011 —The 800th A330 has been delivered today at a ceremony in Toulouse. The aircraft is an A330-200 Freighter, received by Aircastle Advisor Ltd for operation by HNA Group. This is the third A330-200F for its fleet. To date, over 1,140 A330s have been ordered.

Thanks to the introduction of numerous product improvements, it is the most cost-efficient aircraft in its class. Today the A330 fleet has accumulated nearly 18 million flight hours and over four million landings. With over 80 operators today, the aircraft is achieving an average dispatch reliability above 99 percent.