Airbus (Toulouse has decided to increase production of its single-aisle A320 family to 46 a month in the second quarter of 2016, up from the current rate of 42. The new higher production rate will be achieved gradually, with an intermediate step at 44 aircraft per month in the first quarter of 2016.
Over the past five years, Airbus has steadily increased A320 Family production, going from rate 36 at the end of 2010 to a rate of 38 in August 2011, then up to rate 40 in the first quarter of 2012 to reach 42 per month in the fourth quarter of the same year.
With over 10,200 Airbus single aisle aircraft sold and more than 5,900 delivered to nearly 400 customers and operators, the A320 Family, which includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321, is the world’s best-selling and most modern single aisle aircraft family.
With a total of 2,610 orders the A320neo Family has captured some 60 percent of the market, clearly demonstrating its leadership. Incorporating new more efficient engines and Airbus’ “Sharklet” large wing tip devices, these new aircraft are set to deliver fuel savings of up to 15 percent.
Copyright Photo: Airbus.
Airbus (Toulouse) has brought one of its new Airbus A350 to Doha’s new Hamad International Airport in Doha on its way to the Singapore Airshow. Airbus issued this stated:
An A350 XWB flight test aircraft (msn 3) has made its premiere appearance at Doha’s new Hamad International Airport, on its way to the Singapore Airshow. The visit is part of the Entry-into-Service preparations between Airbus and Qatar Airways, the A350 XWB launch customer, who will take delivery of its first A350 XWB in the fourth quarter of this year.
During the visit, the aircraft was welcomed by Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker as well as government officials, eager to see the aircraft performing in Qatar’s skies.
The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) is an all-new mid-size long range product line comprising three versions. The new Family, whose fuselage cross-section is optimized for full long-range passenger comfort in all classes, will bring a 25 percent step change in efficiency compared with existing aircraft in this size category. To date, the A350 XWB has won 812 orders from 39 customers worldwide.
Copyright Photo: Airbus.
Qatar Airways’ (Doha) CEO, Akbar Al Baker, visited Airbus’ facilities in Toulouse to get first-hand information on the A350 program’s progress. The airline will be the first A350 XWB operator and is also its biggest customer with 80 aircraft on order. Airbus and Qatar Airways are working closely together to ensure a successful entry-into-service of this all-new aircraft from day one.
During his site-tour, Mr Al Baker unveiled Airbus’ newest flight test aircraft msn 4, branded with a special “launch customer” livery. The aircraft will soon join the A350 flight test fleet for external noise and lightning tests, avionics development & certification and training for first customer pilots & maintenance teams.
“I am pleased with what I have seen during my visit. It gives me every confidence that the program is well on track for our first delivery in 2014. At Qatar Airways, we are eager to open a new chapter of efficient and comfortable air travel and the A350 XWB will do this for us. The aircraft will give us that extra edge in economics and comfort to further boost our route expansion.” commented Akbar Al Baker.
Copyright Photos: Airbus.
With the placement of the final truss atop the roof this week, the construction of the first building in the Airbus Mobile Assembly Line complex has reached an important milestone. The entire “skeleton” of the building can now be seen. This building is the Final Assembly Line Hangar, which is where A320 family aircraft will be assembled. The milestone was celebrated with the construction crew and project team members signing the final truss before it was lifted into position.
Construction contracts for the other buildings in the complex will be awarded soon. Aircraft assembly is scheduled to begin in 2015, with first deliveries from the Mobile facility beginning in 2016. Airbus anticipates the facility will produce between 40 and 50 aircraft per year by 2018.
Copyright Photo: Airbus.
Airbus (Toulouse) has delivered the 1,000th Airbus aircraft to China. This milestone was reached in December 2013 with the hand over of an A320 to Air China (Beijing).
Airbus delivered its first jetliner to China in 1985, but the fleet grew slowly for the first decade. Deliveries to Chinese customers now account for over 20 per cent of total Airbus production and, according to forecasts, 170 aircraft per year will be delivered from 2014 to 2020.
Copyright Photo: Airbus. Pictured with the temporary registration of B-509L, the Airbus A320-214 became B-9926 (msn 5771) when it was handed over to Air China on December 24, 2013.
The first group of employees who will support the production processes for Airbus’ U.S.-based A320 Family assembly line in Mobile, Alabama, reported for their on-the-job-training in Hamburg this week. Over the next months, the manufacturing engineers, station managers and a quality manager will work alongside their counterparts in Germany to become familiar with production tools and processes.
Hamburg is Airbus’ headquarters in Germany and is the home of the A320 Family program management team. Structural assembly and equipping of fuselage sections and final assembly of the A320 Family’s four members – the A318, A319, A320 and A321 – take place there.
Aircraft assembly in Mobile will begin in 2015, with first delivery scheduled for 2016.
Copyright Photo: Airbus.
Airbus (Toulouse) has issued this report for 2013:
Airbus exceeded commercial targets in 2013, achieving a new record of 626 aircraft deliveries (493 A320 Family aircraft, 108 A330, 25 A380) to 93 customers (15 new) and a new industry record of 1619 gross orders (377 A320ceo, 876 A320neo, 77 A330, 239 A350 XWB, 50 A380) beating the previous record in 2011 by 11 aircraft. The year was also Airbus’ most valuable gross order intake (List price $240.5 billion US). By year end, the backlog had climbed to an industry wide record of 5,559 aircraft, valued at $809 billion US at list prices, or eight years production.
Aircraft deliveries in 2013 were up for the 12th year in a row, beating the initial target and surpassing the previous record set in 2012 (588) by an additional 38 aircraft.
At 2013 year end, Airbus commanded 51 per cent gross market share (aircraft above 100 seats). Decisions by customers to move towards larger aircraft in all segments (A321, A330-300, A350-1000 and A380) is having a positive result on revenues, complementing Airbus’ lead in both single aisle and widebody aircraft markets.
During the year the A320neo surpassed 2,600 orders while strong sales of the A320ceo continued with more than 1,000 sold since the NEO was launched. The A350 XWB had significant commercial breakthroughs especially with a first order from Japan, and the A380 coninued to dominate the Very Large Aircraft market with 50 new orders.
Signalling Airbus’ successful transformation to a more agile company, 2013 was also notable for the A350 XWB first flight. Test flights are progressing well with two aircraft having accomplished over 800 flight hours. Certification is targeted for Q3 and Entry Into Service for Q4 2014. The A330 new longer range and regional variants were launched, A330 production reached a new record high of rate 10 per month and single aisle remained stable at rate 42.
In 2013, Airbus Military delivered 31 aircraft including seven A330 MRTT and two A400M for the French Air Force, confirming the programme is well back on track.
Copyright Photo: Olivier Gregoire/AirlinersGallery.com. Brand new test aircraft, Airbus A350-941 F-WXWB (msn 001), approaches the runway for landing at Toulouse.
Airbus (Toulouse) yesterday (January 2) rolled-out its third A350 XWB flight-test aircraft (msn 002) from the paint shop in Toulouse.
The new type is expected to enter service in the fourth quarter of this year.
The pictured Airbus A350-941 F-WWCF wears a distinctive “Carbon” signature livery to reflect its primary construction from advanced materials. This aircraft is also the first of two A350 flight test aircraft to be equipped with a full passenger cabin interior.
Composite materials in Airbus aircraft have seen a step-by-step introduction that started with the A310 which was first rolled-out in February 1982. Benefiting from over 30 years of composite material experience, 53% of the A350 XWB’s airframe is made-up of carbon-fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) including Airbus’ first carbon-fiber fuselage.
Copyright Photo: Airbus/P. Pigeyre.
JAL-Japan Airlines‘ (Tokyo) private corporate decision to order the Airbus A350 is sending shock waves through the Japanese aviation industry. According to report by Reuters, JAL informed the Japanese government it was switching to Airbus with a large order from Airbus for the A350 rather than the Boeing 777X with a simple e-mail at the time of the public announcement. Japanese companies and Boeing have a close business connection as Japanese companies are actively involved in Boeing projects. As a result, Boeing has always captured a large share of the Japanese market. This order has will undoubtedly change the dynamics between these Japanese companies and Boeing. ANA-All Nippon Airways (Tokyo) is fast approaching an order between Airbus and Boeing and is coming under political pressure to order Boeing long-haul aircraft. The Japanese government says it has a hands-off policy. Will Boeing lose again?
Meanwhile Boeing is revamping its marketing strategies (long overdue). Boeing has now lost a long list of airlines to Airbus. Boeing has only taken a few carriers away from Airbus. Embraer and to a lessor extent, Bombardier, are also taking a greater portion of the narrow body market.
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Airbus has announced a new lower weight variant of its versatile A330-300 wide-body aircraft that is optimized for use on domestic and regional routes in high growth markets with large populations and concentrated traffic flows. China will be one of the most important markets for this new version of today’s world’s most efficient and reliable wide body aircraft.
The announcement was made by Fabrice Bregier, President and CEO of Airbus, at the Aviation Expo China (Beijing Airshow) 2013, which has opened its doors in Beijing.
“The new lower weight A330-300 variant specially designed for regional and domestic use is Airbus’ solution for markets with large populations and fast growing, concentrated air traffic flows. Operators of the new A330-300 variant will benefit from a proven, mature and reliable aircraft that brings relief to limited airspace, airport congestion and pilot shortage,” said Fabrice Bregier. “We are announcing the new A330-300 lower weight variant today in China because here we see strong pent-up demand for efficient and reliable wide-body aircraft connecting mega cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou.”
Compared to current A330-300 variants that are adapted to longer-range missions of up to 6,100 nautical miles (nm), the new A330-300 regional and domestic variant will be optimised to seat up to around 400 passengers in Airbus’ best in class 18 inches wide economy seat comfort on missions up to 3,000 nm and offer significant cost savings through a reduced operational weight of around 200 tonnes. The reduction in fuel burn per seat and maintenance costs thanks to these innovations will result in an overall cost reduction by up to 15% compared with the today’s long-range A330-300 variants.
In addition, the new A330-300 variant will benefit from the latest A350 XWB and A380 technologies. These include cockpit functionalities such as dual head-up display and the latest navigational systems. The cabin will also be future proofed with innovations such as modern slimline light-weight seats, high broadband wi-fi connectivity throughout, the newest In-Flight Entertainment allowing HD TV, LED lighting and full colour mood lighting.
Copyright Photo: Airbus. For the first time the A330 flew in formation with the new A350 and also the A380 near Toulouse.
The new Airbus A350 joined the Airbus A330 and Airbus A380 for an “Xtra-widebody” family flight yesterday (September 19) near Toulouse. The Airbus wide body family of flight test aircraft, the A380, A330 and the all-new A350 XWB, took off from Toulouse flying together for the first time.
Copyright Photo: Airbus.
Airbus (Toulouse) has delivered its 8,000th aircraft – an A320 for AirAsia Indonesia (Jakarta). The aircraft took off from Toulouse, France on Saturday August 3 and arrived earlier today (August 5) at its new base in Jakarta.
Airbus (Toulouse) yesterday (July 19) celebrated the delivery of the 1,000th A330. The aircraft, an A330-343X registered B-LBB (msn 1436), powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, was handed over to Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) at special ceremony in Toulouse. Cathay Pacific together with its sister airline Dragonair (Hong Kong) is the world’s largest operator of the A330, with a total of 56 now in service.
Since its first delivery of the A330 in 1995, Cathay Pacific’s Airbus fleet now comprises 38 A330-300s and 11 A340s, while Dragonair flies 21 single aisle A320 Family aircraft and 18 A330-300s. The Cathay Pacific Group has outstanding orders for 10 more A330-300s. The airline will also take delivery of 48 all-new A350 XWBs in the future, including 46 ordered from Airbus and two leased aircraft.
The wide market appeal of the A330 Family is demonstrated daily by over 100 operators, including network carriers, low cost, charter and flag carriers, who fly A330s on all missions from 30 minutes to over 14 hours. About 1.2 billion passengers have enjoyed traveling on board the light, bright and spacious A330 cabin to and from the 300 airports it serves today. More than 1,250 A330s have been ordered to date.
Copyright Photo: Airbus. B-LBB wears a special “We are flying the 1000th A330″ inscription below the main titles.
Airbus (Toulouse) brought its new Airbus A350-900 yesterday (June 21) to the Paris Air Show for a brief fly-by.
The manufacturer issued this statement:
As part of its third test flight from Airbus’ Toulouse headquarters in southwestern France, the number 1 A350 XWB headed north to offer a show-stopping performance in the skies above Le Bourget Airport today – where a large crowd gathered to witness the fly-by of this new highly-efficient wide-body jetliner.
The aircraft, designated msn 001 in Airbus’ numbering system, made a dramatic entrance over Le Bourget at approximately 1:30 p.m. – marking its first appearance at a public event. Cheers and applause from the crowd drowned out the A350 XWB’s quiet Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines as the aircraft flew along the air show runway before clearing the area and entering the cloud cover.
Piloted by Airbus Captain Peter Chandler and Captain Guy Magrin, the A350 XWB’s fly-by was performed with the authorisation of the France’s DGAC civil aviation authority, and supported by Paris Air Show organisers – who allocated a slot in Friday afternoon’s aerial display.
The A350 XWB performed its first flight on June 14, 2013 from Toulouse and followed that with another mission this week, before its fly-by at the Paris Air Show. These initial flights opened a test and certification campaign that will total approximately 2,500 hours with a fleet of five development aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Airbus. A350-951 F-WXWB (msn 001) flies over a mostly cloudy Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport on the longest day of the year.
The 2013 50th International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport is winding down for the manufacturers. We have been reporting this week on all of the order announcements.
There were several airliner flight demonstrations. Here is a sample:
Boeing demonstrated an Air India 787-8 Dreamliner at Paris:
Airbus demonstrated an A380 bound for British Airways at Paris:
Copyright Photo: Marcelo F. De Biasi/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-841 F-WWDD (msn 004) “Own the sky” also performed at the show.
Airbus (Toulouse) today (June 14), as planned, launched the first flight of its first Airbus A350-900 (A350 XWB). The pictured A350-941 F-WXWB (msn 001) took to sunny skies at Toulouse this morning.
Here is the statement by Airbus:
A new chapter has opened in Airbus’ 43 year history as the first A350 XWB, the world’s most efficient large twin-engined commercial aircraft, powered aloft this morning for its maiden flight at Blagnac in Toulouse, France at 10.00 hours local time. Equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent XWB turbofans, the A350 XWB first flight is taking place over south western France.
An international crew of six is on board, comprising two Flight Test Pilots, one Test Flight Engineer and three Flight Test Engineers. At the controls of the A350 XWB’s first flight are Peter Chandler, Airbus’ Chief Test Pilot, and Guy Magrin, Project Pilot for the A350 XWB. Accompanying them in the cockpit is Pascal Verneau, the A350 XWB Project Test Flight Engineer. At their flight test stations in the main aircraft cabin and monitoring the progress of the flight via an extensive array of flight test instrumentation are the three flight test engineers: Fernando Alonso, Head of Airbus Flight & Integration Test Centre; Patrick du Ché, Head of Development Flight Tests; and Emanuele Costanzo, lead Flight Test Engineer for the Trent XWB engine.
This first flight marks the beginning of a test campaign totaling around 2,500 flight hours with a fleet of five development aircraft. The rigorous flight testing will lead to the certification of the A350-900 variant by the European EASA and US FAA airworthiness authorities, prior to entry into service in the second half of 2014 with first operator Qatar Airways (Doha).
The A350 XWB is Airbus’ all-new mid-size long range product line comprising three versions and seating between 270 and 350 passengers in spacious three-class layouts. The new family will bring a step change in efficiency compared with existing aircraft in this size category, using 25 per cent less fuel and providing an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions. To date the A350 XWB has already won 613 firm orders from 33 customers worldwide.
Copyright Photo: Eurospot (please click on the photo for the full-size view).
Airbus (Toulouse) has confirmed that the A350 XWB first flight is planned for this Friday, June 14, based on current visibility of the program and the flight test status. Weather conditions permitting, the A350 XWB msn 1 will take off from Toulouse-Blagnac airport at around 10:00 am local time.
The A350 XWB flight test teams are now carrying out the last checks on the A350 XWB “MSN1” before they give their final green light for the first flight to take place this Friday. Recent pre-first flight tests successfully carried out include the first power up of the fuel efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines on msn 1, which took place on June 2.
The A350 XWB is the all-new mid-size long range product line comprising three versions and seating between 270 and 350 passengers in typical three-class layouts. The new family will bring a step change in efficiency compared with existing aircraft in this size category, using 25 per cent less fuel and providing an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions. Scheduled for entry-into-service in second half of 2014, the A350 XWB has already won 613 firm orders from 33 customers worldwide.
Copyright Photo: Eurospot. Airbus A350-941 F-WXWB (msn 001) taxies at Toulouse yesterday (June 11) prior to the first flight on June 14.
Airbus (Toulouse) has completed the painting of the first A350 XWB (msn 001). On May 13 the new type was fully completed as it emerged in its Airbus livery out from the paintshop in Toulouse. This latest milestone shows that msn 001 is progressing well on its route to first flight.
The aircraft painting was achieved in less than seven days and follows the recent completion of msn 001’s flight-test-instrumentation (FTI) verification. Last month the aircraft underwent its engines installation, and passed a subsequent intensive phase of ground vibration tests. Msn 001 will soon start the final tests before its maiden flight this summer.
Copyright Photos: Airbus. The new airliner is officially an A350-941 with the registration of F-WXWB (msn 001).