Airbus
Overview
 
Airbus SAS
Société par actions simplifiée
Société par actions simplifiée is the first hybrid law enacted under French law and based on common law principles rather than civil. It is similar to a limited liability company under United States law, as the Delaware limited liability company was the model used by the French Government...

(ˈɛərbʌs, ɛʁbys, ˈɛːɐbʊs, airˈβus) is an aircraft manufacturing
Aerospace manufacturer
An aerospace manufacturer is a company or individual involved in the various aspects of designing, building, testing, selling, and maintaining aircraft, aircraft parts, missiles, rockets, and/or spacecraft....

 subsidiary of EADS
EADS
The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. is a global pan-European aerospace and defence corporation and a leading defence and military contractor worldwide...

, a European aerospace company. Based in Blagnac
Blagnac
Blagnac is a commune in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France.It is the third-largest suburb of the city of Toulouse, although governed by a separate council, and is adjacent to it on the northwest side. It is a member of the Urban community of Greater Toulouse...

, France, surburb of Toulouse
Toulouse
Toulouse is a city in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern FranceIt lies on the banks of the River Garonne, 590 km away from Paris and half-way between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea...

, and with significant activity across Europe, the company produces around half of the world's jet airliner
Jet airliner
A jet airliner is an airliner that is powered by jet engines. This term is sometimes contracted to jetliner or jet.In contrast to today's relatively fuel-efficient, turbofan-powered air travel, first generation jet airliner travel was noisy and fuel inefficient...

s.

Airbus began as a consortium
Consortium
A consortium is an association of two or more individuals, companies, organizations or governments with the objective of participating in a common activity or pooling their resources for achieving a common goal....

 of aerospace manufacturers, Airbus Industrie. Consolidation of European defence and aerospace companies in 1999 and 2000 allowed the establishment of a simplified joint-stock company in 2001, owned by EADS (80%) and BAE Systems
BAE Systems
BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

 (20%).
Encyclopedia
Airbus SAS
Société par actions simplifiée
Société par actions simplifiée is the first hybrid law enacted under French law and based on common law principles rather than civil. It is similar to a limited liability company under United States law, as the Delaware limited liability company was the model used by the French Government...

(ˈɛərbʌs, ɛʁbys, ˈɛːɐbʊs, airˈβus) is an aircraft manufacturing
Aerospace manufacturer
An aerospace manufacturer is a company or individual involved in the various aspects of designing, building, testing, selling, and maintaining aircraft, aircraft parts, missiles, rockets, and/or spacecraft....

 subsidiary of EADS
EADS
The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. is a global pan-European aerospace and defence corporation and a leading defence and military contractor worldwide...

, a European aerospace company. Based in Blagnac
Blagnac
Blagnac is a commune in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France.It is the third-largest suburb of the city of Toulouse, although governed by a separate council, and is adjacent to it on the northwest side. It is a member of the Urban community of Greater Toulouse...

, France, surburb of Toulouse
Toulouse
Toulouse is a city in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern FranceIt lies on the banks of the River Garonne, 590 km away from Paris and half-way between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea...

, and with significant activity across Europe, the company produces around half of the world's jet airliner
Jet airliner
A jet airliner is an airliner that is powered by jet engines. This term is sometimes contracted to jetliner or jet.In contrast to today's relatively fuel-efficient, turbofan-powered air travel, first generation jet airliner travel was noisy and fuel inefficient...

s.

Airbus began as a consortium
Consortium
A consortium is an association of two or more individuals, companies, organizations or governments with the objective of participating in a common activity or pooling their resources for achieving a common goal....

 of aerospace manufacturers, Airbus Industrie. Consolidation of European defence and aerospace companies in 1999 and 2000 allowed the establishment of a simplified joint-stock company in 2001, owned by EADS (80%) and BAE Systems
BAE Systems
BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

 (20%). After a protracted sales process BAE sold its shareholding to EADS on 13 October 2006.

Airbus employs around 52,000 people at sixteen sites in four European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 countries: France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain. Final assembly production is at Toulouse
Toulouse
Toulouse is a city in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern FranceIt lies on the banks of the River Garonne, 590 km away from Paris and half-way between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea...

 (France), Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

 (Germany), Seville
Seville
Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

 (Spain) and, since 2009, Tianjin
Tianjin
' is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China. It is governed as a direct-controlled municipality, one of four such designations, and is, thus, under direct administration of the central government...

 (People's Republic of China). Airbus has subsidiaries in the United States, Japan, China and India.

The company produced and markets the first commercially viable fly-by-wire
Fly-by-wire
Fly-by-wire is a system that replaces the conventional manual flight controls of an aircraft with an electronic interface. The movements of flight controls are converted to electronic signals transmitted by wires , and flight control computers determine how to move the actuators at each control...

 airliner, the Airbus A320
Airbus A320 family
The Airbus A320 family is a family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger jet airliners manufactured by Airbus Industrie.Airbus was originally a consortium of European aerospace companies, and is now fully owned by EADS. Airbus's name has been Airbus SAS since 2001...

, and the world's largest airliner, the A380
Airbus A380
The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by the European corporation Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS. It is the largest passenger airliner in the world. Due to its size, many airports had to modify and improve facilities to accommodate it...

.

Origins

Airbus Industrie began as a consortium
Consortium
A consortium is an association of two or more individuals, companies, organizations or governments with the objective of participating in a common activity or pooling their resources for achieving a common goal....

 of European aviation firms to compete with American companies such as Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

, McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas was a major American aerospace manufacturer and defense contractor, producing a number of famous commercial and military aircraft. It formed from a merger of McDonnell Aircraft and Douglas Aircraft in 1967. McDonnell Douglas was based at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport...

, and Lockheed
Lockheed Corporation
The Lockheed Corporation was an American aerospace company. Lockheed was founded in 1912 and later merged with Martin Marietta to form Lockheed Martin in 1995.-Origins:...

.

While many European aircraft were innovative, even the most successful had small production runs. In 1991, Jean Pierson, then CEO and Managing Director of Airbus Industrie, described a number of factors which explained the dominant position of American aircraft manufacturers: the land mass of the United States made air transport the favoured mode of travel; a 1942 Anglo-American agreement entrusted transport aircraft production to the US; and World War II had left America with "a profitable, vigorous, powerful and structured aeronautical industry."

In the mid-1960s, tentative negotiations commenced regarding a European collaborative approach. Individual aircraft companies had already envisaged such a requirement; in 1959 Hawker Siddeley had advertised an "Airbus" version of the Armstrong Whitworth AW.660 Argosy
Armstrong Whitworth AW.660 Argosy
The Armstrong Whitworth Argosy was a British post-war military transport/cargo aircraft and was the last aircraft produced by Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft...

, which would "be able to lift as many as 126 passengers on ultra short routes at a direct operating cost of 2d.
£sd
£sd was the popular name for the pre-decimal currencies used in the Kingdom of England, later the United Kingdom, and ultimately in much of the British Empire...

 per seat mile." However, European aircraft manufacturers were aware of the risks of such a development and began to accept, along with their governments, that collaboration was required to develop such an aircraft and to compete with the more powerful US manufacturers. At the 1965 Paris Air Show
Paris Air Show
The Paris Air Show is the world's oldest and largest air show. Established in 1909, it is currently held every odd year at Le Bourget Airport in north Paris, France...

 major European airlines informally discussed their requirements for a new "airbus" capable of transporting 100 or more passengers over short to medium distances at a low cost. The same year Hawker Siddeley (at the urging of the UK government) teamed with Breguet
Société Anonyme des Ateliers d'Aviation Louis Breguet
The Société des Ateliers d'Aviation Louis Bréguet also known as Breguet Aviation was a former French aircraft manufacturer. The company was set up in 1911 by aviation pioneer Louis Charles Breguet....

 and Nord
Nord Aviation
Nord-Aviation was a state-owned French aircraft manufacturer. It was created on October 1, 1954 upon the acquisition of SFECMAS by SNCAN...

 to study airbus designs. The Hawker Siddeley/Breguet/Nord groups HBN 100 became the basis for the continuation of the project. By 1966 the partners were Sud Aviation
Sud Aviation
Sud-Aviation was a French state-owned aircraft manufacturer, originating from the merger of Sud-Est and Sud-Ouest on March 1, 1957...

, later Aérospatiale
Aérospatiale
Aérospatiale was a French aerospace manufacturer that built both civilian and military aircraft, rockets and satellites. It was originally known as Société Nationale Industrielle Aérospatiale...

 (France), Arbeitsgemeinschaft Airbus, later Deutsche Airbus (Germany) and Hawker Siddeley (UK). A request for funding was made to the three governments in October 1966. On 25 July 1967 the three governments agreed to proceed with the proposal.

In the two years following this agreement, both the British and French governments expressed doubts about the project. The MoU
Memorandum of understanding
A memorandum of understanding is a document describing a bilateral or multilateral agreement between parties. It expresses a convergence of will between the parties, indicating an intended common line of action. It is often used in cases where parties either do not imply a legal commitment or in...

 had stated that 75 orders must be achieved by 31 July 1968. The French government threatened to withdraw from the project due to the concern over funding development of the Airbus A300, Concorde
Concorde
Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde was a turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner, a supersonic transport . It was a product of an Anglo-French government treaty, combining the manufacturing efforts of Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation...

 and the Dassault Mercure
Dassault Mercure
The Dassault Mercure was a French twin-engined jet-powered airliner. It was proposed in 1967, first production flight was in 1973 and last flew in 1995.-Design and development:...

 concurrently, but was persuaded otherwise. Having announced its concern at the A300B proposal in December 1968, and fearing it would not recoup its investment due to lack of sales, the British government announced its withdrawal on 10 April 1969. Germany took this opportunity to increase its share of the project to 50%. Given the participation by Hawker Siddeley up to that point, France and Germany were reluctant to take over its wing design. Thus the British company was allowed to continue as a privileged subcontractor. Hawker Siddeley invested GB£
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

35 million in tooling and, requiring more capital, received a GB£35 million loan from the German government.

Formation of Airbus Industrie

Airbus Industrie was formally established as a Groupement d'Interet Économique (Economic Interest Group or GIE) on 18 December 1970. It had been formed by a government initiative between France, Germany and the UK that originated in 1967. The name "Airbus" was taken from a non-proprietary term used by the airline industry in the 1960s to refer to a commercial aircraft of a certain size and range, for this term was acceptable to the French linguistically. Aérospatiale and Deutsche Airbus each took a 36.5% share of production work, Hawker Siddeley 20% and Fokker-VFW 7%. Each company would deliver its sections as fully equipped, ready-to-fly items. In October 1971 the Spanish company CASA
Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA
Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA , was a Spanish aircraft manufacturer. It became EADS CASA the Spanish branch of EADS in 1999, but was absorbed by Airbus Military in 2009...

 acquired a 4.2% share of Airbus Industrie, with Aérospatiale and Deutsche Airbus reducing their stakes to 47.9%. In January 1979 British Aerospace, which had absorbed Hawker Siddeley in 1977, acquired a 20% share of Airbus Industrie. The majority shareholders reduced their shares to 37.9%, while CASA retained its 4.2%.

Development of the Airbus A300

The Airbus A300 was to be the first aircraft to be developed, manufactured and marketed by Airbus. By early 1967 the "A300
Airbus A300
The Airbus A300 is a short- to medium-range widebody jet airliner. Launched in 1972 as the world's first twin-engined widebody, it was the first product of Airbus Industrie, a consortium of European aerospace companies, wholly owned today by EADS...

" label began to be applied to a proposed 320 seat, twin engined airliner. Following the 1967 tri-government agreement, Roger Béteille
Roger Béteille
Roger Béteille was born in Vors , France on 28 August 1921. After graduating from the École Polytechnique, he studied at the École Sup’Aéro and at the Centre des Hautes Études d’Armement. In 1945 he acquired his pilot’s licence...

 was appointed technical director of the A300 development project. Béteille developed a division of labour which would be the basis of Airbus' production for years to come: France would manufacture the cockpit, flight control and the lower centre section of the fuselage; Hawker Siddeley, whose Trident
Hawker Siddeley Trident
The Hawker Siddeley HS 121 Trident was a British short/medium-range three-engined jet airliner designed by de Havilland and built by Hawker Siddeley in the 1960s and 1970s...

 technology had impressed him, was to manufacture the wings; Germany should make the forward and rear fuselage sections, as well as the upper centre section; the Dutch would make the flaps and spoilers; finally Spain (yet to become a full partner) would make the horizontal tailplane. On 26 September 1967 the German, French and British governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding in London which allowed continued development studies. This also confirmed Sud Aviation as the "lead company", that France and the UK would each have a 37.5% workshare with Germany taking 25%, and that Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce plc
Rolls-Royce Group plc is a global power systems company headquartered in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom. It is the world’s second-largest maker of aircraft engines , and also has major businesses in the marine propulsion and energy sectors. Through its defence-related activities...

 would manufacture the engines.

In the face of lukewarm support from airlines for a 300+ seat Airbus A300, the partners submitted the A250 proposal, later becoming the A300B, a 250 seat airliner powered by pre-existing engines. This dramatically reduced development costs, as the Rolls-Royce RB207 to be used in the A300 represented a large proportion of the costs. The RB207 had also suffered difficulties and delays, since Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce plc
Rolls-Royce Group plc is a global power systems company headquartered in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom. It is the world’s second-largest maker of aircraft engines , and also has major businesses in the marine propulsion and energy sectors. Through its defence-related activities...

 was concentrating its efforts on the development of another jet engine, the RB211
Rolls-Royce RB211
The Rolls-Royce RB211 is a family of high-bypass turbofan engines made by Rolls-Royce plc and capable of generating 37,400 to 60,600 pounds-force thrust. Originally developed for the Lockheed L-1011 , it entered service in 1972 and was the only engine to power this aircraft type...

, for the Lockheed L-1011
Lockheed L-1011
The Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, commonly referred to as the L-1011 or TriStar, is a medium-to-long range, widebody passenger trijet airliner. It was the third widebody airliner to enter commercial operations, following the Boeing 747 and the McDonnell Douglas DC-10. Between 1968 and 1984, Lockheed...

 and Rolls-Royce entering into administration due to bankruptcy in 1971. The A300B was smaller but lighter and more economical than its three-engined American rivals.

In 1972, the A300 made its maiden flight
Maiden flight
The maiden flight of an aircraft is the first occasion on which an aircraft leaves the ground of its own accord. This is similar to a ship's maiden voyage....

 and the first production model, the A300B2 entered service in 1974; though the launch of the A300 was overshadowed by the similarly timed supersonic aircraft Concorde
Concorde
Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde was a turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner, a supersonic transport . It was a product of an Anglo-French government treaty, combining the manufacturing efforts of Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation...

. Initially the success of the consortium was poor, but orders for the aircraft picked up, due in part to the marketing skills used by Airbus CEO Bernard Lathière, targeting airlines in America and Asia. By 1979 the consortium had 256 orders for A300, and Airbus had launched a more advanced aircraft, the A310
Airbus A310
The Airbus A310 is a medium- to long-range twin-engine widebody jet airliner. Launched in July 1978, it was the second aircraft created by Airbus Industrie,a consortium of European aerospace companies, Airbus is now fully owned by EADS and since 2001 has been known as Airbus SAS. the consortium of...

, in the previous year. It was the launch of the A320
Airbus A320 family
The Airbus A320 family is a family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger jet airliners manufactured by Airbus Industrie.Airbus was originally a consortium of European aerospace companies, and is now fully owned by EADS. Airbus's name has been Airbus SAS since 2001...

 in 1981 that guaranteed the status of Airbus as a major player in the aircraft market – the aircraft had over 400 orders before it first flew, compared to 15 for the A300 in 1972.

Transition to Airbus SAS

The retention of production and engineering assets by the partner companies in effect made Airbus Industrie a sales and marketing company. This arrangement led to inefficiencies due to the inherent conflicts of interest that the four partner companies faced; they were both GIE shareholders of, and subcontractors to, the consortium. The companies collaborated on development of the Airbus range, but guarded the financial details of their own production activities and sought to maximise the transfer prices of their sub-assemblies. It was becoming clear that Airbus was no longer a temporary collaboration to produce a single plane as per its original mission statement, it had become a long term brand for the development of further aircraft. By the late 1980s work had begun on a pair of new medium-sized aircraft, the biggest to be produced at this point under the Airbus name, the Airbus A330
Airbus A330
The Airbus A330 is a wide-body twin-engine jet airliner made by Airbus, a division of EADS. Versions of the A330 have a range of and can accommodate up to 335 passengers in a two-class layout or carry of cargo....

 and the Airbus A340
Airbus A340
The Airbus A340 is a long-range four-engine wide-body commercial passenger jet airliner. Developed by Airbus Industrie,A consortium of European aerospace companies, Airbus is now fully owned by EADS and since 2001 has been known as Airbus SAS. a consortium of European aerospace companies, which is...

.

In the early 1990s the then Airbus CEO Jean Pierson argued that the GIE should be abandoned and Airbus established as a conventional company. However, the difficulties of integrating and valuing the assets of four companies, as well as legal issues, delayed the initiative. In December 1998, when it was reported that British Aerospace and DASA were close to merging, Aérospatiale paralysed negotiations on the Airbus conversion; the French company feared the combined BAe/DASA, which would own 57.9% of Airbus, would dominate the company and it insisted on a 50/50 split. However, the issue was resolved in January 1999 when BAe abandoned talks with DASA in favour of merging with Marconi Electronic Systems
Marconi Electronic Systems
Marconi Electronic Systems , or GEC-Marconi as it was until 1998, was the defence arm of The General Electric Company . It was demerged from GEC and acquired by British Aerospace on November 30, 1999 to form BAE Systems...

 to become BAE Systems
BAE Systems
BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

. Then in 2000 three of the four partner companies (DaimlerChrysler Aerospace, successor to Deutsche Airbus; Aérospatiale-Matra
Aérospatiale-Matra
Aérospatiale-Matra was a French missile and aircraft manufacturer. It was formed in 1999 by the merger of French companies Aérospatiale and Matra Haute Technologie....

, successor to Sud-Aviation; and CASA) merged to form EADS
EADS
The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. is a global pan-European aerospace and defence corporation and a leading defence and military contractor worldwide...

, simplifying the process. EADS now owned Airbus France, Airbus Deutschland and Airbus España, and thus 80% of Airbus Industrie. BAE Systems and EADS transferred their production assets to the new company, Airbus SAS, in return for shareholdings in that company.

Development of the A380

In mid-1988 a group of Airbus engineers led by Jean Roeder began working in secret on the development of an ultra-high-capacity airliner (UHCA), both to complete its own range of products and to break the dominance that Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

 had enjoyed in this market segment since the early 1970s with its 747
Boeing 747
The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial airliner and cargo transport, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first wide-body ever produced...

. The project was announced at the 1990 Farnborough Air Show
Farnborough Air Show
The Farnborough International Airshow is a seven-day international trade fair for the aerospace industry which is held in even-numbered years in mid-July at Farnborough Airfield in Hampshire, England....

, with the stated goal of 15% lower operating costs than the 747-400. Airbus organised four teams of designers, one from each of its partners (Aérospatiale
Aérospatiale
Aérospatiale was a French aerospace manufacturer that built both civilian and military aircraft, rockets and satellites. It was originally known as Société Nationale Industrielle Aérospatiale...

, DaimlerChrysler Aerospace, British Aerospace
British Aerospace
British Aerospace plc was a UK aircraft, munitions and defence-systems manufacturer. Its head office was in the Warwick House in the Farnborough Aerospace Centre in Farnborough, Hampshire...

, CASA) to propose new technologies for its future aircraft designs. In June 1994 Airbus began developing its own very large airliner, then designated as A3XX. Airbus considered several designs, including an odd side-by-side combination of two fuselages from the Airbus A340, which was Airbus's largest jet at the time. Airbus refined its design, targeting a 15 to 20 percent reduction in operating costs over the existing Boeing 747–400. The A3XX design converged on a double-decker layout that provided more passenger volume than a traditional single-deck design.

Five A380s were built for testing and demonstration purposes. The first A380 was unveiled at a ceremony in Toulouse on 18 January 2005, and its maiden flight took place on 27 April 2005. After successfully landing three hours and 54 minutes later, chief test pilot Jacques Rosay
Jacques Rosay
Jacques Rosay is Vice President Chief Test Pilot of the aircraft manufacturer Airbus. He has performed the maiden flights of several Airbus airliners, including the A318, A340-500, and A380 Superjumbo...

 said flying the A380 had been "like handling a bicycle". On 1 December 2005, the A380 achieved its maximum design speed of Mach 0.96. On 10 January 2006, the A380 made its first transatlantic flight to Medellín
Medellín
Medellín , officially the Municipio de Medellín or Municipality of Medellín, is the second largest city in Colombia. It is in the Aburrá Valley, one of the more northerly of the Andes in South America. It has a population of 2.3 million...

 in Colombia.

On 3 October 2006, CEO Christian Streiff
Christian Streiff
Christian Streiff is a French businessman.Streiff was born at Sarrebourg, Moselle. He was nominated chief executive officer of the European commercial aircraft manufacturer Airbus S.A.S. on July 2, 2006. He resigned from this position three months later, on October 9, 2006, and was replaced by...

 announced that the reason for delay of the Airbus A380 was the use of incompatible software used to design
Computer-aided design
Computer-aided design , also known as computer-aided design and drafting , is the use of computer technology for the process of design and design-documentation. Computer Aided Drafting describes the process of drafting with a computer...

 the aircraft. Primarily, the Toulouse
Toulouse
Toulouse is a city in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern FranceIt lies on the banks of the River Garonne, 590 km away from Paris and half-way between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea...

 assembly plant used the latest version 5 of CATIA
CATIA
CATIA is a multi-platform CAD/CAM/CAE commercial software suite developed by the French company Dassault Systemes...

 (made by Dassault), while the design centre at the Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

 factory were using the older and incompatible version 4. The result was that the 530 km of cables wiring throughout the aircraft had to be completely redesigned. Although no orders had been cancelled, Airbus still had to pay millions in late-delivery penalties.

The first aircraft delivered was to Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines Limited is the flag carrier airline of Singapore. Singapore Airlines operates a hub at Changi Airport and has a strong presence in the Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia, and "Kangaroo Route" markets...

 on 15 October 2007 and entered service on 25 October 2007 with an inaugural flight between Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 and Sydney. Two months later Singapore Airlines CEO Chew Choong Seng said that the A380 was performing better than both the airline and Airbus had anticipated, burning 20% less fuel per passenger than the airline's existing 747-400 fleet. Emirates
Emirates Airline
Emirates is the airline based in the Emirate of Dubai part of the United Arab Emirates . Based at Dubai International Airport it is the largest airline in the Middle East, operating over 2,400 flights per week, from its hub at Terminal 3, to 111 cities in 62 countries across six continents...

 was the second airline to take delivery of the A380 on 28 July 2008 and started flights between Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

 and New York
John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport is an international airport located in the borough of Queens in New York City, about southeast of Lower Manhattan. It is the busiest international air passenger gateway to the United States, handling more international traffic than any other airport in North...

 on 1 August 2008. Qantas
Qantas
Qantas Airways Limited is the flag carrier of Australia. The name was originally "QANTAS", an initialism for "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services". Nicknamed "The Flying Kangaroo", the airline is based in Sydney, with its main hub at Sydney Airport...

 followed on 19 September 2008, starting flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles on 20 October 2008.

Sale of BAE stake

On 6 April 2006 plans were announced that BAE Systems
BAE Systems
BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

 was to sell its 20% share in Airbus, then "conservatively valued" at €3.5 billion (US$4.17 billion). Analysts suggested the move to make partnerships with U.S. firms more feasible, in both financial and political terms. BAE originally sought to agree on a price with EADS through an informal process. Due to lengthy negotiations and disagreements over price, BAE exercised its put option
Put option
A put or put option is a contract between two parties to exchange an asset, the underlying, at a specified price, the strike, by a predetermined date, the expiry or maturity...

 which saw investment bank Rothschild
N M Rothschild & Sons
N M Rothschild & Sons is a private investment banking company, belonging to the Rothschild family...

 appointed to give an independent valuation.

In June 2006 Airbus was embroiled significant international controversy over its announcement of further delays in the delivery of its A380. Following the announcement the value of associated stock plunged by up to 25% in a matter of days, although it soon recovered afterwards. Allegations of insider trading
Insider trading
Insider trading is the trading of a corporation's stock or other securities by individuals with potential access to non-public information about the company...

 on the part of Noël Forgeard
Noël Forgeard
Noël Forgeard is a French industrialist and former joint CEO of EADS.-Appointment:From April 1998 until June 2005 Forgeard was CEO of the aircraft manufacturer Airbus SAS.In late 2004 he was nominated as the next French CEO of EADS...

, CEO of EADS, its majority corporate parent, promptly followed. The loss of associated value was of grave concern to BAE, press described a "furious row" between BAE and EADS, with BAE believing the announcement was designed to depress the value of its share. A French shareholder group filed a class action lawsuit against EADS for failing to inform investors of the financial implications of the A380 delays while airlines awaiting deliveries demanded compensation. As a result EADS chief Noël Forgeard
Noël Forgeard
Noël Forgeard is a French industrialist and former joint CEO of EADS.-Appointment:From April 1998 until June 2005 Forgeard was CEO of the aircraft manufacturer Airbus SAS.In late 2004 he was nominated as the next French CEO of EADS...

 and Airbus CEO Gustav Humbert
Gustav Humbert
Dr. Gustav Humbert is the former Chief Executive Officer and President of Airbus SAS, and a former member of the EADS Executive Committee.- Airbus :...

 announced their resignations on 2 July 2006.

On 2 July 2006 Rothschild valued BAE's stake at £1.9 billion (€2.75 billion), well below the expectation of BAE, analysts, and even EADS. On 5 July BAE appointed independent auditors to investigate how the value of its share of Airbus had fallen from the original estimates to the Rothschild valuation; however in September 2006 BAE agreed the sale of its stake in Airbus to EADS for £1.87 billion (€2.75 billion, $3.53 billion), pending BAE shareholder approval. On 4 October shareholders voted in favour of the sale, leaving Airbus entirely owned by EADS.

2007 restructuring

On 9 October 2006 Christian Streiff
Christian Streiff
Christian Streiff is a French businessman.Streiff was born at Sarrebourg, Moselle. He was nominated chief executive officer of the European commercial aircraft manufacturer Airbus S.A.S. on July 2, 2006. He resigned from this position three months later, on October 9, 2006, and was replaced by...

, Humbert's successor, resigned due to differences with parent company EADS over the amount of independence he would be granted in implementing his reorganisation plan for Airbus. He was succeeded by EADS co-CEO Louis Gallois
Louis Gallois
Louis René Fernand Gallois is a French businessman and currently the CEO of EADS.-Education:...

, bringing Airbus under more direct control of its parent company.

On 28 February 2007, CEO Louis Gallois announced the company's restructuring plans. Entitled Power8, the plan would see 10,000 jobs cut over four years; 4,300 in France, 3,700 in Germany, 1,600 in the UK and 400 in Spain. 5,000 of the 10,000 would be at sub contractors. Plants at Saint Nazaire, Varel
Varel
Varel is a town in the district of Friesland, in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated near the Jade River and the Jade Bight, approx. 15 km south of Wilhelmshaven, and 30 km north of Oldenburg.- Notable natives :...

 and Laupheim
Laupheim
Laupheim is a city in southern Germany in the state of Baden Württemberg. Laupheim was first mentioned in 778 and gained its city rights in 1869. One of the main trading routes, from Ulm to Ravensburg and then on towards Lake Constance ran through Laupheim...

 face sell off or closure, while Meaulte
Méaulte
Méaulte is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France.-Geography:The commune is situated on the D329 road, some northeast of Amiens.-Population:-Personalities:...

, Nordenham
Nordenham
Nordenham is a town in the Wesermarsch district, in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is located at the mouth of the Weser river on the Butjadingen peninsula on the coast of the North Sea. The seaport city of Bremerhaven is located on the other side of the river...

 and Filton
Filton
Filton is a town in South Gloucestershire, England, situated on the northern outskirts of the city of Bristol, about from the city centre. Filton lies in Bristol postcode areas BS7 and BS34. The town centres upon Filton Church, which dates back to the 12th century and is a grade II listed building...

 are "open to investors". As of 16 September 2008 the Laupheim plant has been sold to a Thales-Diehl consortium to form Diehl Aerospace
Diehl Aerospace
Diehl Aerospace GmbH is a Joint venture between Diehl BGT Defence and Thales Group operating in the field of Avionics. The headquarters of the company are in Überlingen, Germany....

 and the operations at Filton have been sold to GKN of the United Kingdom. The announcements have resulted in Airbus unions in France planning to strike, with German Airbus workers possibly following.

2011 A320neo record orders

At the 2011 Paris Air Show
Paris Air Show
The Paris Air Show is the world's oldest and largest air show. Established in 1909, it is currently held every odd year at Le Bourget Airport in north Paris, France...

, Airbus received total orders valued at about $72.2 billion for 730 aircraft, representing a new record in the civil aviation industry. The A320neo ("new engine option") model, announced in December 2010, received 667 orders, which, together with previous orders, resulted in a total of 1029 orders within six months of launch date, also a new record.

Civilian products

The Airbus product line started with the A300, the world's first twin-aisle, twin-engined aircraft. A shorter, re-winged, re-engined variant of the A300
Airbus A300
The Airbus A300 is a short- to medium-range widebody jet airliner. Launched in 1972 as the world's first twin-engined widebody, it was the first product of Airbus Industrie, a consortium of European aerospace companies, wholly owned today by EADS...

 is known as the A310. Building on its success, Airbus launched the A320
Airbus A320 family
The Airbus A320 family is a family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger jet airliners manufactured by Airbus Industrie.Airbus was originally a consortium of European aerospace companies, and is now fully owned by EADS. Airbus's name has been Airbus SAS since 2001...

 with its innovative fly-by-wire
Fly-by-wire
Fly-by-wire is a system that replaces the conventional manual flight controls of an aircraft with an electronic interface. The movements of flight controls are converted to electronic signals transmitted by wires , and flight control computers determine how to move the actuators at each control...

 control system. The A320 has been, and continues to be, a great commercial success. The A318 and A319 are shorter derivatives with some of the latter under construction for the corporate biz-jet market (Airbus Corporate Jet). A stretched version is known as the A321 and is proving competitive with later models of the Boeing 737.

The longer-range widebody
Wide-body aircraft
A wide-body aircraft is a large airliner with two passenger aisles, also known as a widebody aircraft or twin-aisle aircraft. The typical fuselage diameter is . In the typical wide-body economy cabin, passengers are seated seven to ten abreast, allowing a total capacity of 200 to 850 passengers...

 products, the twin-jet A330 and the four-engine A340, have efficient wings, enhanced by winglets. The Airbus A340-500
Airbus A340
The Airbus A340 is a long-range four-engine wide-body commercial passenger jet airliner. Developed by Airbus Industrie,A consortium of European aerospace companies, Airbus is now fully owned by EADS and since 2001 has been known as Airbus SAS. a consortium of European aerospace companies, which is...

 has an operating range of 16700 kilometres (9,017.3 nmi), the second longest range of any commercial jet after the Boeing 777-200LR (range of 17,446 km or 9,420 nautical miles). The company was the first to use fly-by-wire
Fly-by-wire
Fly-by-wire is a system that replaces the conventional manual flight controls of an aircraft with an electronic interface. The movements of flight controls are converted to electronic signals transmitted by wires , and flight control computers determine how to move the actuators at each control...

 flight-control technologies as well as a full glass cockpit
Glass cockpit
A glass cockpit is an aircraft cockpit that features electronic instrument displays, typically large LCD screens, as opposed to the traditional style of analog dials and gauges...

 when it first used these technologies on the A320 in the late-1980s. All Airbus aircraft developed since then have cockpit systems similar to the A320, making it easier to train crew.

Airbus is studying a replacement for the A320 series, tentatively dubbed NSR
Airbus NSR
Airbus NSR was discussed as a replacement by Airbus for the A320. Initially it was rumoured to start the design 2014 and enter service around 2018. Available information was very scarce and relates mostly to rumours of "industry insiders" and efforts by Airbus seemed low.The follow-on aircraft to...

, for "New Short-Range aircraft". Those studies indicated a maximum fuel efficiency gain of 9–10% for the NSR. Airbus however opted to enhance the existing A320 design using new winglets and working on aerodynamical improvements. This "A320 Enhanced" should have a fuel efficiency improvement of around 4–5%, shifting the launch of a A320 replacement to 2017–2018.

In 24 September 2009 the COO Fabrice Bregier stated to Le Figaro
Le Figaro
Le Figaro is a French daily newspaper founded in 1826 and published in Paris. It is one of three French newspapers of record, with Le Monde and Libération, and is the oldest newspaper in France. It is also the second-largest national newspaper in France after Le Parisien and before Le Monde, but...

 that the company would need from €800 million to €1 billion over six years to develop the new aircraft generation and preserve the company technological lead from new competitors like C919
Comac C919
The Comac C919 is a planned family of 168-190 seat narrow-body airliners to be built by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China ....

, scheduled to operate by 2015–2020.

In July 2007, Airbus delivered its last A300 to FedEx, marking the end of the A300/A310 production line. Airbus intends to relocate Toulouse A320 final assembly activity to Hamburg, and A350/A380 production in the opposite direction as part of its Power8 organisation plan begun under ex-CEO Christian Streiff
Christian Streiff
Christian Streiff is a French businessman.Streiff was born at Sarrebourg, Moselle. He was nominated chief executive officer of the European commercial aircraft manufacturer Airbus S.A.S. on July 2, 2006. He resigned from this position three months later, on October 9, 2006, and was replaced by...

.

Airbus supplied replacement parts and service for Concorde
Concorde
Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde was a turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner, a supersonic transport . It was a product of an Anglo-French government treaty, combining the manufacturing efforts of Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation...

 until its retirement in 2003.

On 10 November 2011, Airbus ended production of its four-engine A340 due to lack of sales compared to its twin-engine counterparts, such as the Boeing 777
Boeing 777
The Boeing 777 is a long-range, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world's largest twinjet and is commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven". The aircraft has seating for over 300 passengers and has a range from , depending on model...

.
Product list and details (date information from Airbus)
Aircraft Description Seats Max 1st flight Production ceased
A300
Airbus A300
The Airbus A300 is a short- to medium-range widebody jet airliner. Launched in 1972 as the world's first twin-engined widebody, it was the first product of Airbus Industrie, a consortium of European aerospace companies, wholly owned today by EADS...

2 engines, twin aisle 228–254 361 28 October 1972 27 March 2007 (561 built)
A310
Airbus A310
The Airbus A310 is a medium- to long-range twin-engine widebody jet airliner. Launched in July 1978, it was the second aircraft created by Airbus Industrie,a consortium of European aerospace companies, Airbus is now fully owned by EADS and since 2001 has been known as Airbus SAS. the consortium of...

2 engines, twin aisle, modified A300 187 279 3 April 1982 27 March 2007 (255 built)
A318 2 engines, single aisle, shortened 6.17 m from A320 107 117 15 January 2002
A319
Airbus A320 family
The Airbus A320 family is a family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger jet airliners manufactured by Airbus Industrie.Airbus was originally a consortium of European aerospace companies, and is now fully owned by EADS. Airbus's name has been Airbus SAS since 2001...

2 engines, single aisle, shortened 3.77 m from A320 124 156 25 August 1995
A320
Airbus A320 family
The Airbus A320 family is a family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger jet airliners manufactured by Airbus Industrie.Airbus was originally a consortium of European aerospace companies, and is now fully owned by EADS. Airbus's name has been Airbus SAS since 2001...

2 engines, single aisle 150 180 22 February 1987
A321
Airbus A320 family
The Airbus A320 family is a family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger jet airliners manufactured by Airbus Industrie.Airbus was originally a consortium of European aerospace companies, and is now fully owned by EADS. Airbus's name has been Airbus SAS since 2001...

2 engines, single aisle, lengthened 6.94 m from A320 185 220 11 March 1993
A330
Airbus A330
The Airbus A330 is a wide-body twin-engine jet airliner made by Airbus, a division of EADS. Versions of the A330 have a range of and can accommodate up to 335 passengers in a two-class layout or carry of cargo....

2 engines, twin aisle 253–295 406–440 2 November 1992
A340
Airbus A340
The Airbus A340 is a long-range four-engine wide-body commercial passenger jet airliner. Developed by Airbus Industrie,A consortium of European aerospace companies, Airbus is now fully owned by EADS and since 2001 has been known as Airbus SAS. a consortium of European aerospace companies, which is...

4 engines, twin aisle 239–380 420–440 25 October 1991 A340-200: September 2008
All other variants: 10 November 2011 (375 built)
A350
Airbus A350
The Airbus A350 is a family of long-range, wide-body jet airliners under development by European aircraft manufacturer Airbus.A consortium originally comprising European aerospace companies from the UK, France, Spain and West Germany, Airbus is now fully owned by EADS and since 2001 has been known...

2 engines, twin aisle 270–350 550 2012 (scheduled)
A380
Airbus A380
The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by the European corporation Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS. It is the largest passenger airliner in the world. Due to its size, many airports had to modify and improve facilities to accommodate it...

4 engines, double deck, twin aisle 555 853 27 April 2005

Military products

In the late 1990s Airbus became increasingly interested in developing and selling to the military aviation market. Expansion in the military aircraft market is desirable as it reduces Airbus' exposure to downturns in the civil aviation industry. It embarked on two main fields of development: aerial refuelling with the Airbus A310 MRTT and the Airbus A330 MRTT
Airbus A330 MRTT
The Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport is an aerial refuelling tanker aircraft based on the civilian Airbus A330-200. The A330 MRTT has been ordered by the Royal Australian Air Force , Royal Air Force , United Arab Emirates Air Force, and Royal Saudi Air Force...

, and tactical airlift with the A400M.

In January 1999 Airbus established a separate company, Airbus Military SAS, to undertake development and production of a turboprop-powered tactical transport
Airlift (military)
An airlift is the organized delivery of supplies or personnel primarily via aircraft.Airlifting consists of two distinct types, strategic and tactical airlifting...

 aircraft, the Airbus Military A400M
Airbus A400M
The Airbus A400M, also known as the Atlas, is a multi-national four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. It was designed by Airbus Military as a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities. The aircraft's maiden flight, originally planned for 2008, took place on 11 December 2009 in...

. The A400M is being developed by several NATO members, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

, Spain, Turkey, and the UK, as an alternative to relying on foreign aircraft for tactical airlift capacity, such as the Ukrainian Antonov An-124
Antonov An-124
The Antonov An-124 Ruslan is a strategic airlift jet aircraft. It was designed by the Ukrainian SSR's Antonov design bureau, then part of the Soviet Union. It is the world's largest ever serially-manufactured cargo airplane and world's second largest operating cargo aircraft...

 and the American C-130 Hercules
C-130 Hercules
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin. Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport...

. The A400M project has received several delays; Airbus has threatened to cancel the development unless it receives state subsidies.

Pakistan placed an order for the Airbus A310 MRTT in 2008, which will be a conversion of an existing airframe as the base model A310 is no longer in production. On 25 February 2008 it was announced that Airbus had won an order for three air refuelling Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft, adapted from A330 passenger jets, from the United Arab Emirates. On 1 March 2008 it was announced that a consortium of Airbus and Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman Corporation is an American global aerospace and defense technology company formed by the 1994 purchase of Grumman by Northrop. The company was the fourth-largest defense contractor in the world as of 2010, and the largest builder of naval vessels. Northrop Grumman employs over...

 had won a $35 billion contract to build the new in-flight refuelling aircraft KC-45A
Northrop Grumman KC-45
The EADS/Northrop Grumman KC-45 is a proposed aerial refueling tanker aircraft based on the Airbus A330 MRTT. The United States Air Force had ordered 179 KC-45As in the first stage of replacing the aging Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker tankers currently in service. However, the contest was reopened in...

, a US built version of the MRTT, for the USAF. The decision drew a formal complaint from Boeing, and the KC-X
KC-X
KC-X is the United States Air Force program to procure its next-generation aerial refueling tanker aircraft to replace some of the older Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers. The contest was for a production contract for 179 new tankers with estimated value of US$35 billion...

 contract was cancelled to begin bidding afresh.

Competition with Boeing

Airbus is in tight competition with Boeing every year for aircraft orders. Though both manufacturers have a broad product range in various segments from single-aisle
Narrow-body aircraft
A narrow-body aircraft is an airliner with a fuselage aircraft cabin width typically of 3 to 4 metres , and airline seat arranged 2 to 6 abreast along a single aisle...

 to wide-body
Wide-body aircraft
A wide-body aircraft is a large airliner with two passenger aisles, also known as a widebody aircraft or twin-aisle aircraft. The typical fuselage diameter is . In the typical wide-body economy cabin, passengers are seated seven to ten abreast, allowing a total capacity of 200 to 850 passengers...

, their aircraft do not always compete head-to-head. Instead they respond with models slightly smaller or bigger than the other in order to plug any holes in demand and achieve a better edge. The A380, for example, is designed to be larger than the 747. The A350XWB competes with the high end of the 787 and the low end of the 777. The A320 is bigger than the 737-700 but smaller than the 737–800. The A321 is bigger than the 737–900 but smaller than the previous 757-200. Airlines see this as a benefit since they get a more complete product range from 100 seats to 500 seats than if both companies offered identical aircraft.
In recent years the Boeing 777
Boeing 777
The Boeing 777 is a long-range, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world's largest twinjet and is commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven". The aircraft has seating for over 300 passengers and has a range from , depending on model...

 has outsold its Airbus counterparts, which include the A340 family as well as the A330-300. The smaller A330-200 competes with the 767
Boeing 767
The Boeing 767 is a mid-size, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It was the manufacturer's first wide-body twinjet and its first airliner with a two-crew glass cockpit. The aircraft features two turbofan engines, a supercritical wing, and a conventional tail...

, outselling its Boeing counterpart in recent years. The A380 is anticipated to further reduce sales of the Boeing 747, gaining Airbus a share of the market in very large aircraft, though frequent delays in the A380 programme have caused several customers to consider the refreshed 747–8
Boeing 747-8
The Boeing 747-8 is a wide-body jet airliner developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Officially announced in 2005, the 747-8 is the fourth-generation Boeing 747 version, with lengthened fuselage, redesigned wings and improved efficiency...

. Airbus has also proposed the A350 XWB to compete with the fast-selling Boeing 787 Dreamliner, after being under great pressure from airlines to produce a competing model.

There are around 5,102 Airbus aircraft in service, with Airbus managing to win over 50 per cent of aircraft orders in recent years. Airbus products are still outnumbered 3 to 1 by in-service Boeings (there are over 4,500 Boeing 737s alone in service). This however is indicative of historical success – Airbus made a late entry into the modern jet airliner
Jet airliner
A jet airliner is an airliner that is powered by jet engines. This term is sometimes contracted to jetliner or jet.In contrast to today's relatively fuel-efficient, turbofan-powered air travel, first generation jet airliner travel was noisy and fuel inefficient...

 market (1972 vs. 1958 for Boeing).

Airbus won a greater share of orders in 2003 and 2004. In 2005, Airbus achieved 1111 (1055 net) orders, compared to 1029 (net of 1002) for the same year at rival Boeing However, Boeing won 55% of 2005 orders proportioned by value; and in the following year Boeing won more orders by both measures. Airbus in 2006 achieved its second best year ever in its entire 35 year history in terms of the number of orders it received, 824, second only to the previous year. In August 2010, Airbus announced that it was increasing production of A320 airliners, to reach 40 per month by 2012, at a time when Boeing is increasing monthly 737 production from 31.5 to 35 per month.

Subsidy conflicts

Boeing has continually protested over "launch aid" and other forms of government aid to Airbus, while Airbus has argued that Boeing receives illegal subsidies through military and research contracts and tax breaks.

In July 2004 former Boeing CEO Harry Stonecipher
Harry Stonecipher
Harry C. Stonecipher is a former President and Chief Executive of American aerospace companies McDonnell Douglas and, later, Boeing. Stonecipher orchestrated the merger between McDonnell Douglas and Boeing, and was widely credited with the resurgence of Boeing...

 accused Airbus of abusing a 1992 bilateral EU-US agreement providing for disciplines for large civil aircraft support from governments. Airbus is given reimbursable launch investment (RLI), called "launch aid" by the US, from European governments with the money being paid back with interest plus indefinite royalties, but only if the aircraft is a commercial success. Airbus contends that this system is fully compliant with the 1992 agreement and WTO rules. The agreement allows up to 33 per cent of the programme cost to be met through government loans which are to be fully repaid within 17 years with interest and royalties. These loans are held at a minimum interest rate equal to the cost of government borrowing plus 0.25%, which would be below market rates available to Airbus without government support. Airbus claims that since the signature of the EU-U.S. Agreement in 1992, it has repaid European governments more than U.S.$6.7 billion and that this is 40% more than it has received.

Airbus argues that the military contracts awarded to Boeing, the second largest U.S. defence contractor, are in effect a form of subsidy, such as the controversy surrounding the Boeing KC-767 military contracting arrangements. The significant U.S. government support of technology development via NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 also provides significant support to Boeing, as do the large tax breaks offered to Boeing, which some people claim are in violation of the 1992 agreement and WTO rules. In its recent products such as the 787, Boeing has also been offered direct financial support from local and state governments.

In January 2005 the European Union and United States trade representatives, Peter Mandelson
Peter Mandelson
Peter Benjamin Mandelson, Baron Mandelson, PC is a British Labour Party politician, who was the Member of Parliament for Hartlepool from 1992 to 2004, served in a number of Cabinet positions under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and was a European Commissioner...

 and Robert Zoellick
Robert Zoellick
Robert Bruce Zoellick is the eleventh president of the World Bank, a position he has held since July 1, 2007. He was previously a managing director of Goldman Sachs, United States Deputy Secretary of State and U.S. Trade Representative, from February 7, 2001 until February 22, 2005.President...

 respectively, agreed to talks aimed at resolving the increasing tensions. These talks were not successful with the dispute becoming more acrimonious rather than approaching a settlement.

WTO ruled in August 2010 and in May 2011 that Airbus had received improper government subsidies through loans with below market rates from several European countries. In a separate ruling in February 2011, WTO found that Boeing had received local and federal aid in violation of WTO rules.

International manufacturing presence

Airbus has several final assembly lines for different models and markets. These are:
  • Hamburg
    Hamburg
    -History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

    , Germany (A320 series)
  • Seville
    Seville
    Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

    , Spain (A400M)
  • Tianjin
    Tianjin
    ' is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China. It is governed as a direct-controlled municipality, one of four such designations, and is, thus, under direct administration of the central government...

    , China (A320 series).
  • Toulouse
    Toulouse
    Toulouse is a city in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern FranceIt lies on the banks of the River Garonne, 590 km away from Paris and half-way between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea...

    , France (A330, A340, A380)


Airbus, however, has a number of other plants in different European locations, reflecting its foundation as a consortium. An original solution to the problem of moving aircraft parts between the different factories and the assembly plants is the use of "Beluga
Airbus Beluga
-External links:*...

" specially enlarged jets, capable of carrying entire sections of fuselage of Airbus aircraft. This solution has also been investigated by Boeing, who retrofitted 3 of their 747 aircraft to transport the components of the 787. An exception to this scheme is the A380, whose fuselage and wings are too large for sections to be carried by the Beluga
Airbus Beluga
-External links:*...

. Large A380 parts are brought by ship to Bordeaux
Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department in southwestern France.The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture...

, and then transported to the Toulouse assembly plant by the Itinéraire à Grand Gabarit
Itinéraire à Grand Gabarit
The Itinéraire à Grand Gabarit is a water and road route that has been created in order to allow the transport of the outsize structural sections of the Airbus A380 airliner from their point of manufacture to Toulouse for final assembly. The route was largely created by modifying existing waterways...

, a specially enlarged waterway and road route.

North America is an important region to Airbus in terms of both aircraft sales and suppliers. 2,000 of the total of approximately 5,300 Airbus jetliners sold by Airbus around the world, representing every aircraft in its product line from the 107-seat A318 to the 565-passenger A380, are ordered by North American customers. According to Airbus, US contractors, supporting an estimated 120,000 jobs, earned an estimated $5.5 billion (2003) worth of business. For example, one version of the A380 has 51% American content in terms of work share value. A plant will be built in Mobile
Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

, Alabama for KC-45A, A330-200MRTT and A330-200F production.

Airbus opened an assembly plant in Tianjin
Tianjin
' is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China. It is governed as a direct-controlled municipality, one of four such designations, and is, thus, under direct administration of the central government...

, People's Republic of China for its A320 series airliners in 2009. Airbus started constructing a $350 million component manufacturing plant in Harbin
Harbin
Harbin ; Manchu language: , Harbin; Russian: Харби́н Kharbin ), is the capital and largest city of Heilongjiang Province in Northeast China, lying on the southern bank of the Songhua River...

, China in July 2009, which will employ 1,000 people. Scheduled to be operated by the end of 2010, the 30,000 square meter plant will manufacture composite parts and assemble composite work-packages for the A350 XWB, A320 families and future Airbus programs. Harbin Aircraft Industry Group Corporation, Hafei Aviation Industry Company Ltd, AviChina Industry & Technology Company and other Chinese partners hold the 80 percent stake of the plant while Airbus control the remaining 20 percent.

Environmental record

Airbus has joined Honeywell
Honeywell
Honeywell International, Inc. is a major conglomerate company that produces a variety of consumer products, engineering services, and aerospace systems for a wide variety of customers, from private consumers to major corporations and governments....

 and JetBlue Airways
JetBlue Airways
JetBlue Airways Corporation is an American low-cost airline. The company is headquartered in the Forest Hills neighborhood of the New York City borough of Queens. Its main base is John F. Kennedy International Airport, also in Queens....

 in an effort to reduce pollution and dependence on oil. They are trying to develop a biofuel that could be used by 2030. The companies think they can almost cover one third of the world's airplane fuel need. A plan to create a biofuel that won’t affect food resources is the proposal. Algae is a possible alternative because it absorbs carbon dioxide, and it will not affect food production. However, algae and other vegetation are still just experiments, and algae is expensive to develop. Airbus recently had the first alternative fuel flight. It ran on 60 percent kerosene and 40 percent gas to liquids
Gas to liquids
Gas to liquids is a refinery process to convert natural gas or other gaseous hydrocarbons into longer-chain hydrocarbons such as gasoline or diesel fuel...

 (GTL) fuel in one engine. It did not cut carbon emissions, but it was free of sulphur emissions. Alternative fuel was able to work properly in Airbus' aeroplane engine, so alternative fuels should not cause a need for new aeroplane engines. This flight and the company's long term efforts are considered big strides towards environmentally friendly aeroplanes.

Export credits

According to Patrick Crawford of the UK's Export Credits Guarantee Department
Export Credits Guarantee Department
The Export Credits Guarantee Department is the United Kingdom's Export Credit Agency . It reports through to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. ECGD derives its powers from the 1991 Export and Investment Guarantees Act and undertakes its activities in accordance with a...

 (ECGD), "Historically, the three European Export Credit Agencies that support Airbus have covered about 17 per cent of that company's total sales. In 2009–10, reflecting the increased constraints on bank liquidity across the world, that proportion rose to 33 per cent. ECGD guarantees represented by Airbus deliveries grew to 90 per cent of the value of business underwritten and 83 per cent of numbers of facilities. Nearly 50 per cent of these Airbus deliveries were powered by UK aero-engines (supplied by either Rolls-Royce or IAE)."

Workforce by sites

Airbus site¹ Country Workforce
Toulouse
Toulouse
Toulouse is a city in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern FranceIt lies on the banks of the River Garonne, 590 km away from Paris and half-way between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea...


(Toulouse
Toulouse
Toulouse is a city in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern FranceIt lies on the banks of the River Garonne, 590 km away from Paris and half-way between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea...

, Colomiers
Colomiers
Colomiers is a commune in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France.It is the largest suburb of the city of Toulouse, and is adjacent to it on the west side...

, Blagnac
Blagnac
Blagnac is a commune in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France.It is the third-largest suburb of the city of Toulouse, although governed by a separate council, and is adjacent to it on the northwest side. It is a member of the Urban community of Greater Toulouse...

)
France 16,992
Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...


(Finkenwerder
Finkenwerder
Finkenwerder is a quarter of Hamburg, Germany in the borough Hamburg-Mitte. It is the location of a plant of Airbus and its airport...

, Stade
Stade
Stade is a city in Lower Saxony, Germany and part of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region . It is the seat of the district named after it...

, Buxtehude
Buxtehude
Buxtehude is a town on the Este River in Northern Germany in the district of Stade and part of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region . Buxtehude is a steadily growing medium-sized town and the second largest in the district of Stade. It lies on the southern borders of the Altes Land within easy reach of...

)
Germany 13,420
Broughton, Flintshire
Broughton, Flintshire
Broughton is a small district in Flintshire, Wales, close to the Wales–England border and located to the west of the City of Chester, England. Along with the nearby village of Bretton, the total population was 5,791 at the 2001 Census....

, Wales
UK 5,031
Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

 (Filton), England
UK 4,642
Bremen Germany 3,330
Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

 (Getafe, Illescas)
Spain 2,484
Saint-Nazaire
Saint-Nazaire
Saint-Nazaire , is a commune in the Loire-Atlantique department in western France.The town has a major harbour, on the right bank of the Loire River estuary, near the Atlantic Ocean. The town is at the south of the second-largest swamp in France, called "la Brière"...

France 2,387
Nordenham
Nordenham
Nordenham is a town in the Wesermarsch district, in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is located at the mouth of the Weser river on the Butjadingen peninsula on the coast of the North Sea. The seaport city of Bremerhaven is located on the other side of the river...

Germany 2,086
Nantes
Nantes
Nantes is a city in western France, located on the Loire River, from the Atlantic coast. The city is the 6th largest in France, while its metropolitan area ranks 8th with over 800,000 inhabitants....

France 1,996
Albert
Albert, Somme
Albert is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France.It is located about halfway between Amiens and Bapaume.-History:Albert was founded as a Roman outpost called Encre, in about 54 BC...

 (Méaulte
Méaulte
Méaulte is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France.-Geography:The commune is situated on the D329 road, some northeast of Amiens.-Population:-Personalities:...

)
France 1,288
Varel
Varel
Varel is a town in the district of Friesland, in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated near the Jade River and the Jade Bight, approx. 15 km south of Wilhelmshaven, and 30 km north of Oldenburg.- Notable natives :...

Germany 1,191
Laupheim
Laupheim
Laupheim is a city in southern Germany in the state of Baden Württemberg. Laupheim was first mentioned in 778 and gained its city rights in 1869. One of the main trading routes, from Ulm to Ravensburg and then on towards Lake Constance ran through Laupheim...

Germany 1,116
Cadiz
Cádiz
Cadiz is a city and port in southwestern Spain. It is the capital of the homonymous province, one of eight which make up the autonomous community of Andalusia....

 (Puerto Real
Puerto Real
Puerto Real is a seaport in southern Spain, in the province of Cádiz and the autonomous region of Andalusia. , it had a population 40,667....

)
Spain 448
Washington, D.C. (Herndon
Herndon, Virginia
Herndon is a town in Fairfax County, Virginia, in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area of the United States. The population was 21,655 at the 2000 census, which makes it the largest of three towns in the county.-History:...

, Ashburn
Ashburn, Virginia
Ashburn, Virginia is a census-designated place located in Loudoun County, Virginia, northwest of Washington, D.C., and is part of the Washington Metropolitan Area...

)
USA 422
Beijing PRC
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

150
Wichita
Wichita, Kansas
Wichita is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kansas.As of the 2010 census, the city population was 382,368. Located in south-central Kansas on the Arkansas River, Wichita is the county seat of Sedgwick County and the principal city of the Wichita metropolitan area...

USA 200
Mobile
Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

, Alabama
USA 150
Miami (Miami Springs) USA ?
Seville
Seville
Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

Spain ?
Moscow Russia ?
Tianjin
Tianjin
' is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China. It is governed as a direct-controlled municipality, one of four such designations, and is, thus, under direct administration of the central government...

PRC
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

planning
Harbin
Harbin
Harbin ; Manchu language: , Harbin; Russian: Харби́н Kharbin ), is the capital and largest city of Heilongjiang Province in Northeast China, lying on the southern bank of the Songhua River...

PRC
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

1,000 (opening by end-2010)
Bangalore
Bangalore
Bengaluru , formerly called Bengaluru is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. Bangalore is nicknamed the Garden City and was once called a pensioner's paradise. Located on the Deccan Plateau in the south-eastern part of Karnataka, Bangalore is India's third most populous city and...

, Karnataka
India 180
Total 56,966+

(Data as of 31 December 2006)

¹ Name of the urban/metropolitan area appears first, then in parenthesis are the exact locations of the plants

Airbus aircraft numbering system

The Airbus numbering system is an alpha numeric model number followed by a dash and a three digit number.

The model number often takes the form of the letter "A" followed by a '3', a digit, then followed normally by a '0', for example A380. There are some exceptions such as: A318, A319, A321 and A400M. The succeeding three digit number represents the aircraft series, the engine manufacturer and engine version number respectively. To use an A320-200 with International Aero Engines (IAE) V2500-A1 engines as an example; The code is 2 for series 200, 3 for IAE and engine version 1, thus the aircraft number is A320-231.

An additional letter is sometimes used. These include, 'C' for a combi version (passenger/freighter), 'F' for a freighter model, 'R' for the long range model, and 'X' for the enhanced model.

Engine codes

Code Manufacturing company
0 General Electric
GE-Aviation
GE Aviation, a subsidiary of General Electric, is headquartered in Evendale, Ohio . GE Aviation is the top supplier of aircraft engines in the world, and offers engines for the majority of commercial aircraft. GE Aviation is part of the General Electric conglomerate, which is one of the world's...

 (GE)
1 CFM International
CFM International
CFM International is a joint venture between GE Aviation, a division of General Electric of the United States and Snecma, a division of Safran of France...

 (GE/SNECMA)
2 Pratt & Whitney
Pratt & Whitney
Pratt & Whitney is a U.S.-based aerospace manufacturer with global service operations. It is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation . Pratt & Whitney's aircraft engines are widely used in both civil aviation and military aviation. Its headquarters are in East Hartford, Connecticut, USA...

 (P&W)
3 International Aero Engines
International Aero Engines
IAE International Aero Engines AG is a Zürich-registered joint venture manufacturing company formed in 1983.- Ownership :Current shareholders are:* Pratt & Whitney of the United States * MTU Aero Engines of Germany...

 (R-R, P&W, Kawasaki, Mitsubishi, and Ishikawajima-Harima)
4 Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce plc
Rolls-Royce Group plc is a global power systems company headquartered in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom. It is the world’s second-largest maker of aircraft engines , and also has major businesses in the marine propulsion and energy sectors. Through its defence-related activities...

 (R-R)
6 Engine Alliance
Engine Alliance
The Engine Alliance is a 50/50 joint venture between General Electric and Pratt & Whitney formed in August 1996 to develop, manufacture, sell, and support a family of modern technology aircraft engines for new high-capacity, long-range aircraft.The main application for such an engine, the GP7200,...

 (GE and P&W)

See also

  • Aerospace industry in the United Kingdom
  • Airbus Affair
    Airbus affair
    The Airbus affair refers to allegations of secret commissions paid to members of the Government of Canada during the term of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, in exchange for then-crown corporation Air Canada's purchase of a large number of Airbus jets...

     – ongoing controversy over Air Canada
    Air Canada
    Air Canada is the flag carrier and largest airline of Canada. The airline, founded in 1936, provides scheduled and charter air transport for passengers and cargo to 178 destinations worldwide. It is the world's tenth largest passenger airline by number of destinations, and the airline is a...

     deal
  • Boeing
    Boeing
    The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

  • Bombardier Aerospace
    Bombardier Aerospace
    Bombardier Aerospace is a division of Bombardier Inc. and is the third-largest airplane manufacturer in the world. It is headquartered in Dorval, Quebec, Canada.- History :...

  • COMAC
    COMAC
    COMAC may refer to:* Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China* Comac , a Belgian socialist student movement * Chinese Overseas Movement of Advanced Culture* Coordinate Modal Assurance Criterion...

  • Embraer
    Embraer
    Embraer S.A. is a Brazilian aerospace conglomerate that produces commercial, military, and executive aircraft and provides aeronautical services....

  • United Aircraft Corporation
    United Aircraft Corporation
    United Aircraft Corporation may refer to one of the following:* United Aircraft Corporation, formerly United Aircraft and Transport Corporation; now known as United Technologies Corporation....



External links


Key Airbus publications

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK