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Airbus develops, produces and supports commercial aircraft in the 100 seat and above range. In 2001 Airbus became a single fully integrated company incorporated under French law as a simplified joint stock company. The four national entities which had previously formed the Airbus consortium transferred their Airbus-related assets to the new company and became shareholders in Airbus -- Airbus France, Airbus Deutschland and Airbus Espana merging as the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) with 80% shares and BAE
 Systems with 20%. In 2006, following the sales of BAE Systems' shares, Airbus became an EADS company. 

Manufacturing, production and sub-assembly of parts for Airbus aircraft are distributed around 12 sites in Europe, with final assembly in Toulouse and Hamburg.There are also centres for engineering design, sales and support in North America; and sales and customer support centres in Japan and China. Airbus has a joint engineering centre inRussia with Kaskol. 
Airbus is managed by an Executive Committee headed by a President and Chief Executive Officer appointed by the EADS Board of Direction.

Sep 22, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC and RENO, NV- Airbus Group and Aerion Corporation have agreed to collaborate on technologies associated with the future of high-performance flight. To further their mutual objectives, both companies will exchange knowledge and capabilities in design, manufacturing and certification.

For Aerion, this means collaboration to advance the development and commercialization of the Aerion AS2 supersonic business jet.

Under the agreement, Airbus Group, through its Defence and Space division, will provide technical and certification support, which will include the assignment of senior engineering staff to Aerion's expanding development organization. Aerion and Airbus Defence and Space professionals will work together at Aerion's new and larger engineering offices in Reno, Nevada.

"This is a major step forward for Aerion," said the company's chairman and principal investor, Robert M. Bass. "It puts us solidly on track toward our objective of certifying the world's first supersonic business jet in 2021. Needless to say, we are thrilled with the resources Airbus Group will bring to the program."

Over the longer term, Aerion will provide proprietary technology and assistance to Airbus Group in its high-performance aircraft technology development. These technologies include Aerion's extensive research, its proprietary design tools and patented aerodynamic designs.

"Aerion's pioneering work has broad applications for both performance and efficiency. We are looking forward to a fruitful cooperation," said Jean Botti, Airbus Group Chief Technical Officer.

The joint effort provides expanded engineering capabilities to Aerion as it enters a design phase in which propulsion systems, structures, avionics and equipment are specified and sourced. Under the current timeline, Aerion is targeting first flight of the AS2 in the 2019 timeframe.

"This agreement accomplishes two major objectives," according to Aerion CEO Doug Nichols. "It provides validation from the industry leader in aerospace innovation, and it decisively kicks the program into high gear. Each company will benefit. Aerion moves quickly toward building a supersonic jet, and Airbus Group gains exclusive access to more than a decade of successful research and proprietary high-performance aircraft technology."

Initial collaboration activities have commenced between engineering teams from Aerion and Airbus Defence and Space, which is Airbus Group's principal liaison organization for AS2 development.

Jun 20, 2013

At the 2013 Paris Air Show, Airbus won US$68.7 billion worth of business for a total of 466 aircraft, which shows the resilience of the commercial aviation industry. The deals comprise Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) for 225 aircraft worth US$29.4 billion and firm purchase orders for 241 aircraft worth US$39.3 billion.

The A320 Family, spearheaded by the A320neo, continues its trailblazing success in the single-aisle market with 371 orders and commitments from six customers announced at the show, worth approximately $37.8 billion. Of these, 88 were for the A320ceo – showing that today’s in-production aircraft is still the most sought-after industry workhorse. A stand-out commitment during the show for the A320 Family was the announcement from easyJet for 100 A320neos plus 35 A320ceos – the winning result of a very intense competition. Another major endorsement for the A320 Family came from Lufthansa with the firming-up of 100 more aircraft. Additional A320 Family orders and commitments came from: Hong Kong Aviation Capital for 60; ILFC for 50; Spirit for 20; and Tunisia’s Syphax Airlines for three – significantly the first A320neo commitment from Africa.

Another star at Paris was the A350 XWB which flew for the first time on Friday 14th June 2013 and successfully completed its second flight on Wednesday 19th June. At the show this aircraft gained 69 more orders & commitments worth $21.4 billion from four customers on different continents. Air France-KLM placed a firm order for 25 A350-900s. Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines, already a large customer for the type, returned to order 30 more A350-900s; United Airlines also placed an additional A350 order for 10 A350-1000s -- not only bringing its total A350 orders to 35, but also upgrading its previous order for 25 A350-900s to the larger A350-1000 model to replace its Boeing 777s. In addition, Sri Lankan signed a commitment for four A350-900s to complement an order for six A330-300s at the show.

At the top end of the product range, the flagship A380 received a commitment for 20 aircraft from the world’s third largest wide-body lessor, Doric Lease Corp, in a deal worth more than $8 billion. The contract with Doric is significant as it opens up a new, additional route to market for the A380, which is now available to airlines who wish to acquire the aircraft under the flexibility of an operating lease agreement.

John Leahy, Airbus’s Chief Operating Officer, Customers said: “The dramatic rainfall and thunder storms at Le Bourget this year didn’t dampen our order intake.” He added: “Our A350 XWB has been out-selling the 787 by better than 2- to-1 over the last five years. In addition our A320neo Family retains a 60 percent market share lead. That’s a ‘corner’ I want to stay boxed into.”

In addition to aircraft order announcements, this year’s show saw some operators take delivery of new Airbus aircraft. Most notably, LATAM Airlines Group, one of Airbus’ largest A320 customers, received its 200th A320 at Le Bourget. The aircraft was fitted with Sharklet fuel-saving wingtip devices – an option now proving to be universally popular on this family of aircraft. Meanwhile Air New Zealand – the launch airline to commit to these fuel saving devices – took delivery of its first A320 equipped with Sharklets. In addition, VIP operator Comlux took delivery of the first Airbus ACJ321, which will make it the first Airbus Corporate Jet customer to have every Airbus A320 Family member in its fleet.


By taking the right decisions at the start, Airbus has been able to create a complete range of aircraft that exceed the expectations of passengers, pilots and operators -- all within 30 years. Airbus was established in 1970 as a European consortium of French, German and later, Spanish and U.K companies, as it became clear that only by co-operating would European aircraft manufacturers be able to compete effectively with the U.S. giants. By overcoming national divides, sharing development costs, collaborating in the interests of a greater market share, and even agreeing a common set of measurements and a common language, Airbus changed the face of the business, and brought airlines, passengers and crews the benefits of real competition. In 2001, thirty years after its creation, Airbus formally became a single integrated company, thus passing another major milestone in its history of achievements.

The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), (resulting from the merger between Aerospatiale Matra SA of France, Daimler Chrysler Aerospace AG of Germany and Construcciones Aeronauticas SA of Spain), and BAE SYSTEMS of the UK, transferred all of their Airbus-related assets to the newly incorporated company and, in exchange, became shareholders in Airbus with 80 per cent and 20 per cent respectively of the new stock.

The co-operation between the different entities that make up Airbus today goes back to the 1920s. Construcciones Aeronauticas S.A. (CASA) of Spain built seaplanes under licence from German company Dornier and worked with the French on the Bréguet XIX. Then in the 1950s, a number of Franco-German aviation projects saw the light of day. The 1960s saw the first real co-operative effort between French and German aircraft manufacturers on the Transall, followed by the Concorde adventure between the French and the British.

This was also a time of close contacts between CASA and Messerschmidt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB). MBB formed the core of DaimlerChrysler Aerospace AG (DASA) in 1989 and then CASA, Dasa and Aerospatiale Matra S.A. together formed EADS in 2000.

The Airbus GIE (or Groupement d'Intérêt Economique), a form of consortium under French law, was officially created at the end of 1970 to establish a formal co-operation among the GIE's partners and to provide a single sales, marketing and support interface for Airbus customers.

The two full partners in the original consortium were Aerospatiale for France and Deutsche Aerospace for Germany. Hawker Siddeley and Fokker were also associated with the programme and CASA of Spain became a full member of the GIE in 1971.

Initially headquartered in Paris, the GIE moved to Toulouse in 1974. British Aerospace became a full partner in 1979.

Airbus' first aircraft, the A300B, was launched at the 1969 Paris air show. It was the first widebody twinjet and could carry 226 passengers in a comfortable two-class lay-out. A stretched 250 seat version, the A300B2, requested by launch customer Air France, went into full scale production.

By 1974, the A300 had been certified on budget and ahead of schedule &endash; a major first for European companies at the time. By the end of 1975, Airbus had 10 per cent of the market and a total of 55 aircraft on order. The company then went through a dark period, during which it failed to secure any new orders. Finally, US airline Eastern Airlines decided to lease four A300B4s.

This was a turning point, and from then on, Airbus never looked back. Within two years, Airbus had 133 firm orders and market share had risen to 26 per cent by value. By the end of 1979, Airbus had 256 orders from 32 customers and 81 aircraft in service with 14 operators.

In July 1978, Airbus launched the A310, a shortened version of the A300 seating 218 passengers in a standard, two-class configuration. The aircraft featured the first ever two-man cockpit equipped with six cathode ray tubes displays replacing the older dials.

No longer was Airbus a one-aircraft manufacturer. It was set to expand and to create a complete range of airliners.

Following this bold stroke, British Aerospace - which had taken over Hawker-Siddeley - became a full partner in the Airbus consortium in 1979. All the major European manufacturers were now firmly united and ready to challenge the U.S. industry.

That same year, Airbus decided to incorporate the 130-170 seat single aisle aircraft, on which the partners had been working outside the consortium, into its aircraft family. This project became the A320, which filled out the Airbus product line and allowed Airbus to compete for replacements of ageing U.S.-built aircraft in that category, in service worldwide at the time.

The A320, launched in 1984, was the first all-new design in its category in 30 years. Incorporating new technologies, the aircraft provided better operating efficiency, better performance and - above all - greater passenger comfort thanks to a wider fuselage cross-section. It was the first commercial aircraft to feature 'fly-by-wire' controls and side sticks. It set the standard for all subsequent Airbus cockpits and indeed for the industry as a whole.

The introduction of fly-by-wire also enabled Airbus to develop a family of aircraft sharing the same cockpit and the same flight handling characteristics.

The A320 was followed in 1989 by the A321, a lengthened version, seating 185 passengers in a standard three class configuration, and, in 1992, by a 124-seat version - the A319. The single-aisle Family was completed in 1999 with the introduction of the 107-seat A318.

The decision to launch the A320 proved a wise one. In spite of the recession of the mid 80s, the aircraft anticipated market demand for a modern, cost-efficient aircraft to replace older planes when the economy turned round. The new A320 was quickly chosen by Air France, British Caledonian, Adria Airways, Air Inter and Cyprus Airways. Today, it is one of Airbus' best-selling aircraft, popular with passengers and carriers alike.

By 1987, it was clear to Airbus that the time was ripe to launch not one, but two larger aircraft in a single programme. The market was ready for a twin engine, medium-haul aircraft as well as a long range, four engine, airliner.

The two new airliners shared the same airframe, the same wing design and the same popular twin-aisle cross-section as the A300/A310, incorporating the proven fly-by-wire controls of the A320.

When the four-engine A340 entered service in 1993, it was the first entirely new, long-haul aircraft to start commercial operations for more than 20 years. The twin-engine A330 which joined it a year later combined some of the lowest operating costs of any aircraft ever designed with maximum flexibility for a wide range of route structures.

Two additional versions of the A340, the A340-500 and the A340-600, have been developed in close collaboration with airlines. The A340-600 achieved certification in May 2002 and entered airline service in August while its sibling, the A340-500, achieved certification in December 2002.

In December 2000, Airbus launched the 555-seat A380 programme at the top end of the spectrum. This all-new double-decker aircraft is the most advanced, spacious and efficient airliner ever conceived, and the solution to growing traffic between major hubs.

The A380 will provide 15 to 20 per cent lower operating costs, 10 to 15 per cent more range, lower fuel burn, less noise and lower emissions than the largest aircraft flying today.