Tag Archives: Airbus

Airbus and ITA Airways partner to develop urban air mobility in Italy

Airbus and ITA Airways have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on urban air mobility (UAM) in Italy. The two companies will explore the creation of tailored UAM services, by identifying strategic use cases for emission-free mobility solutions.

The agreement foresees a joint approach toward local mobility stakeholders in order to onboard additional partners for the safe and sustainable launch of operations with the CityAirbus NextGen electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, currently in development. The parties also agree to identify pilot cases with the goal of securing public acceptance of UAM by demonstrating the added value that it can bring to communities.

ITA Airways is the Italian flag carrier airline. It was created in 2021, with sustainability as one of the fundamental pillars of its business plan. The company has shown a keen interest in innovative projects to decarbonise aviation, such as the development of urban air mobility through eVTOLs. ITA Airways recently directly purchased 28 aircraft from the manufacturer, including seven A220s, 11 A320neos and 10 A330neos. The A350 will also join the company’s fleet this summer.

Since 2014, Airbus has been exploring how electric propulsion can help drive the development of new kinds of aerial vehicles. In September 2021, the Company unveiled its fully electric eVTOL prototype, CityAirbus NextGen. Airbus is developing a UAM solution with eVTOLs not only to offer a new mobility service but also as an important step in its quest to reduce emissions in aviation across its product range.

ITA Airways aircraft phot gallery:

Airbus and CFM International to pioneer hydrogen combustion technology

Airbus has signed a partnership agreement with CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines, to collaborate on a hydrogen demonstration program that will take flight around the middle of this  decade.

The program’s objective is to ground and flight test a direct combustion engine  fueled by hydrogen, in preparation for entry-into-service of a zero-emission aircraft by 2035. The demonstration will use a A380 flying testbed equipped with liquid hydrogen tanks prepared at Airbus facilities in France and Germany. Airbus will also define the hydrogen propulsion system requirements, oversee flight testing, and provide the A380 platform to test the hydrogen combustion engine in cruise phase.

CFM International (CFM) will modify the combustor, fuel system, and control system of a GE Passport turbofan to run on hydrogen. The engine, which is assembled in the US, was selected for this program because of its physical size, advanced turbo machinery, and fuel flow capability. It will be mounted along the rear fuselage of the flying testbed to allow engine emissions, including contrails, to be monitored separately from those of the engines powering the aircraft. CFM will execute an extensive ground test program ahead of the A380 flight test.

CFM shares Airbus’ ambition of fulfilling the promise they made in signing the Air Transport Action Group goal in October 2021 to achieve aviation industry net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 by developing and testing the technology necessary to make zero emissions aircraft a reality within the ambitious timeline defined.

Airbus has a long-standing relationship with CFM and its parent companies, GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines and, together, the partners have established a great track record of delivering high-performance products that meet the needs of airline customers.

Airbus cancels Qatar Airways order for 50 A321neo jets in growing A350 dispute

Airbus has cancelled Qatar Airways’ order for 50 new A321neo aircraft as the dispute with the carrier grows over the A350 skin flaws.

The two parties will take the A350 dispute to a London court on April 26, 2022. Qatar is seeking $600 million in compensation.

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Airbus achieves 2021 commercial aircraft delivery target

Airbus SE delivered 611 commercial aircraft to 88 customers in 2021, demonstrating resilience and recovery with progress on ramp-up plans.

“Our commercial aircraft achievements in 2021 reflect the focus and resilience of our Airbus teams, customers, suppliers and stakeholders across the globe who pulled together to deliver remarkable results. The year saw significant orders from airlines worldwide, signaling confidence in the sustainable growth of air travel post-COVID” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus Chief Executive Officer. “While uncertainties remain, we are on track to lift production through 2022 to meet our customers’ requirements. At the same time we are preparing the future of aviation, transforming our industrial capabilities and implementing the roadmap for decarbonization.”

In 2021, deliveries comprised:


2021 2020
A220 Family 50 38
A320 Family 483 446
A330 Family 18 19
A350 Family 55 59
A380 5 4
Total 611 566


Approximately 25% of commercial aircraft in 2021 were delivered using the established “e-delivery” process, allowing customers to receive their aircraft with minimal need for their teams to travel.

In 2021, Airbus doubled its gross order intake compared to 2020 with 771 new sales (507 net) across all programs and market segments demonstrating the strength of the company’s full product range and signaling renewed market confidence.

The A220 won 64 firm gross new orders and several high profile commitments from some of the world’s leading carriers. The A320neo Family won 661 gross new orders. In the widebody segment, Airbus won 46 gross new orders including 30 A330s and 16 A350s of which 11 were for the newly launched A350F which also won an additional 11 commitments.

In number of aircraft units, Airbus recorded a gross book to bill ratio above one.

At the end of 2021, Airbus’ backlog stood at 7,082 aircraft.

Aviation Capital Group commits to 20 A220s and 40 A320neo Family aircraft

Global full-service aircraft lessor Aviation Capital Group (ACG), wholly owned by Tokyo Century Corporation, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for 20 Airbus A220s and a firm contract for 40 A320neo Family aircraft, of which five are A321XLRs.

With this order ACG is supporting the recently launched multi-million dollar ESG fund initiative by Airbus that will contribute towards investment into sustainable aviation development projects.

Jetlines’ first Airbus A320 is painted

Jetlines (Canada Jetlines) will take delivery of its first Airbus A320 in January.

Airbus A320-214 C-GCJL (msn 4175, ex OE-IAV) was painted at Shannon.

Emirates takes delivery of its 123rd Airbus A380

Emirates received its 123rd A380 in Hamburg on December 16, 2021. The close collaboration with Airbus has shaped the identity of the A380 over the years and continues to transform the passenger experience today. It is the 251st A380 delivered by Airbus.

A shared ambition

The story of the A380 is closely linked to Emirates. In the early 2000s, Airbus launched the A380 in response to airport congestion by creating an aircraft capable of serving global hubs. An ambition shared by Emirates, whose unique geographical position allows them to connect Dubai to all the world’s airports such as Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, São Paulo, Singapore or Sydney, creating the possibility to fly more than 500 passengers around the world on one aircraft. Emirates’ appetite for the A380 is insatiable: with 123 A380s delivered, 50 destinations and 12 maintenance centers, the airline is unquestionably a major A380 customer.


The airline’s strategy has enabled Airbus teams to improve the aircraft’s operational performance by up to 99.3%, a level never seen before on a four-engine aircraft – and to develop new innovations on an ongoing basis. The attention to detail given to the cabin illustrates the duo’s win-win approach.

Cabin innovation

“Emirates has always pushed boundaries on design and cabin innovation, a key investment in its strategy,” explains Michael Lau, A380 Industrial Designer in Hamburg. “Many of the innovations developed on the Emirates cabin were a first for Airbus, such as the first class showers, lighting scenarios and the recent premium economy cabin. Emirates has challenged us and given us confidence in our cabin expertise. We are extremely proud of what we have achieved together on this aircraft.”

The premium economy cabin – positioned as middle-ground between economy and business class for comfort and amenities is available on Emirates’ six newest A380s, and 52 of its 123 A380 will be retrofitted in the coming months to accommodate this new-generation premium class. This is another example of Airbus’ ability to meet the most demanding cabin designs and Emirates’ desire to offer passengers the most exclusive travel experience with the latest cabin standards.

A new passenger experience

While Emirates takes passenger comfort to the next level on the A380, the aircraft itself offers features that have transformed the passenger’s idea of air travel. “The double deck fuselage, the cabin area and its technologies are unique. The A380 is particularly quiet, giving the feeling of calm to passengers onboard. This experience is shared by everyone, from passengers to pilots and crew. This has helped transform the attention that Airbus and the airlines now pay to passengers” explains Michael Lau.

From the A380 to the A350, a transfer of innovation

The A380 is a pioneer in many respects. “The A380 has enabled the four Airbus countries to work together and adopt common development and industrialization methods. Overcoming our historical national heritage has been a huge challenge that made Airbus the integrated company we currently know” says Bertrand George.

The experience gained on the A380 has been used by the entire Airbus family, and especially on the A350 program. For the first time, Airbus teams used a Digital Mock-Up (DMU) as a 3D representation of an aircraft. Moreover, the A380 enabled the introduction of new advanced materials such as carbon fibre reinforced plastics and Glare (glass fibers and aluminum), offering better properties against corrosion and fatigue, as well as weight reduction. New technologies were also implemented such as the zero-splice acoustic panel, which significantly reduces noise on the engine air inlets. The new hydraulic system (with a 5000 psi pressure and the 2H/2E systems architecture where the traditional three hydraulic circuits were replaced by two hydraulic and two electric systems), reduced weight, and improved system redundancy and reliability.

The A380 of tomorrow relies on sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) 

The A380 MSN1 test campaign is on-going to improve in-flight systems and SAF capability of up to 100%. A much-awaited challenge for Emirates, which has already embarked on this path by operating the first A380 ferry flight from Germany to the United Arab Emirates fueled with 10% of sustainable fuel.

Flying for decades to come

Beyond this new collaboration with Emirates, Airbus is continuing to fully support all A380 operators and their fleets on over 70 destinations around the world. Since its entry into service in 2007, the iconic A380 has flown over 800,000 flights carrying more than 300 million passengers.


Newly launched ACJ TwoTwenty completes its first flight

Airbus has made this announcement:

The aircraft will be delivered to Comlux in the coming weeks and then outfitted with a VVIP cabin by COMLUX in Indianapolis, USA after the delivery. Comlux has been selected as an exclusive outfitting partner for the first 15 ACJ TwoTwenty aircraft.

The ACJ TwoTwenty is a new value proposition to business aviation buyers. The innovative solution combines intercontinental range enabling the aircraft to fly up to 5,650 nm/10,500 km (over 12 flight hours), unmatched personal space providing comfort for each passenger  with 73m2/785 ft2 of floor space. The ACJ TwoTwenty is the only business jet featuring six wide VIP living areas, of around 12m2/130 ft2 each and is at a price point of a ULR bizjet.

Equipped with a signature flexible cabin catalogue, this fully completed aircraft is ideal for private and business jet users.

Airbus: How to store liquid hydrogen for zero-emission flight

Airbus issued this report:

Hydrogen is critical to Airbus’ aim of developing the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft by 2035. This will require an innovative approach to fuel storage. Airbus is now designing cutting-edge liquid hydrogen tanks to facilitate a new era of sustainable aviation


Hydrogen is one of the most promising technologies to reduce aviation’s climate impact. When generated from renewable energy sources, it emits zero CO2. Significantly, it delivers approximately three times the energy per unit mass of conventional jet fuel and more than 100 times that of lithium-ion batteries. This makes it well suited to powering aircraft.

However, storing hydrogen on-board an aircraft poses several challenges. Hydrogen may provide more energy by mass than kerosene fuel, but it delivers less energy by volume. At normal atmospheric pressure and ambient temperature, you would need approximately 3,000 litres of gaseous hydrogen to achieve the same amount of energy as one liter of kerosene fuel.

Clearly this is not feasible for aviation. One alternative would be to pressurize the hydrogen at 700 bars – an approach used in the automotive sector. In our example, this would slash the 3,000 litres to just six.

This may represent a huge improvement, but weight and volume are critical for aircraft. To go further still, we can dial down the temperature  to -253°C. That’s when hydrogen transforms itself from a gas to a liquid, increasing its energy density even more. Returning to our example, four litres of liquid hydrogen would be the equivalent of one litre of standard jet fuel.

Demanding requirements for hydrogen storage tanks

Maintaining such a low temperature requires very specific storage tanks. They currently consist of an inner and outer tank with a vacuum in between, and a specific material, such as a MLI (Multi-Layer Insulation) to minimise the heat transfer by radiation.

Cryogenic liquid hydrogen storage tanks are already used in several industries, including aerospace, which gives us a good insight into the challenges involved. Airbus’ involvement in Ariane, for example, helped gain knowledge on systems installation, on cryogenic testing and fuel sloshing management, or even on how to build the inner tank itself.

But while there are some synergies between space flight and aviation, there are also numerous important differences. Safety requirements are different than for space launchers as hydrogen storage tanks for commercial aircraft would have to endure approximately 20,000 take-offs and landings, and would need to keep the hydrogen in the liquid state for much longer.

The new Airbus ZEDCs will host multidisciplinary engineering teams to create innovative solutions that will meet demanding aerospace requirements.

David Butters, Vehicles Systems Architect at Airbus


Crucial R&D for zero-emission flight

As part of its commitment to clean aerospace, Airbus is now adapting and evolving existing hydrogen storage technology for aviation. Several new research and development facilities across Europe have recently begun work on liquid hydrogen storage tanks for our ZEROe concept aircraft.

In the near term, liquid hydrogen tanks for commercial flight are likely to be metallic. This approach will be pursued by Zero Emission Development Centres (ZEDCs) in Nantes, France, and Bremen, in northern Germany.

Longer term, however, tanks made from composite materials may be lighter and more cost-efficient to manufacture. Airbus will accelerate development of this approach at its new ZEDC in Spain, and its composite research centre in Stade, Germany.

“Adapting cryogenic tank technology for commercial aircraft represents  some major design and manufacturing challenges,” says David Butters, Head of Engineering for LH2 Storage and Distribution at Airbus. “The new Airbus ZEDCs will host multidisciplinary engineering teams to create innovative solutions that will meet demanding aerospace requirements.”

All ZEDCs are expected to be fully operational and ready for ground testing with  the first fully functional cryogenic hydrogen tank during 2023, and with flight testing starting in 2025.

Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways A350 skin flaws escalates

From Reuters:

“Airbus dramatically raised the stakes in a dispute with Qatar Airways over skin flaws on A350 jetliners on Thursday, accusing the Gulf carrier of misrepresenting the problem as a safety issue and calling for independent legal advice.”

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