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In January 2016, Lufthansa took delivery of the first A320neo Family aircraft to be handed over to an airline operator © Airbus

Airbus Continues to Take Off to New Heights in 2016

First A320neo delivery opens new era in commercial aviation. Gulf Air also convinced by A320neo Family aircraft. Bestseller makes Airbus reach new records

Having closed last year with a new record, the European aircraft manufactured started into the new year with the Lufthansa Group, Airbus’ largest airline customer and operator, taking delivery of the first A320neo on 20 January 2016.

15 Per Cent in Fuel Savings

Equipped with all new technology Pratt & Whitney PurePower® Geared Turbofan™ engines, the A320neo sets new standards in aircraft efficiency. Incorporating new generation engines and Sharklet wing tip devices, the Airbus A320neo Family allows more than 15 percent in fuel savings from day one, and 20 percent by 2020 with further cabin innovations.

“We are happy that today we are the first airline worldwide to receive the Airbus A320neo. With lower fuel consumption and consequently lower CO2 emissions, the A320neo has a clearly improved environmental performance. Furthermore, the new jet engine technology makes the aircraft considerably quieter. As a result, we ordered a total of 116 aircraft of this type for the airlines of the Lufthansa Group”, states Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

Gulf Air Orders 20 A320neo Family Aircraft

With nearly 4,500 orders received from some 80 customers since its launch in 2010, the A320neo Family has captured a 60 percent share of the market. Convinced by the aircraft’s assets is also Gulf Air. Bahrain’s national carrier decided to upgrade its fleet with Airbus’ fuel-efficient single aisle aircraft and placed a firm order of 29 A320neo Family. The order includes 17 A321neo and 12 A320neo, of which 10 A320neo have been confirmed in 2012.

Another Record Year

Present with three sites in the Hamburg Metropolitan Area, i.e. Hamburg-Finkenwerder, Buxtehude and Stade, Airbus has exceeded its targets for 2015, achieving a new record of 635 aircraft deliveries for 85 customers of which ten are new clients. These deliveries comprise: 491 A320 Family aircraft; 103 A330s; 27 A380s; and 14 A350 XWBs. This production achievement means that Airbus’ aircraft deliveries in 2015 were up for the 13th year in a row, surpassing the previous year-end delivery record of 629 aircraft set in 2014. Airbus also achieved 1,036 net orders from 53 customers (of which eight are new), comprising 897 single-aisle aircraft and 139 widebodies. At 2015 year-end the overall backlog had climbed to a new industry record of 6,787 aircraft valued at US$996.3 billion at list prices.

Progress Also in the A350 Programme

2015 has seen also other accomplishments. For example, the A320neo was certified by the aviation authorities on both sides of the Atlantic five years after its launch. In addition, Airbus delivered 14 A350s. Important progress was also made on the A350 programme’s next variant, the A350-1000 – whose major components and structures are now taking shape across various production sites. Likewise, parts are now in production for the first A330neo – with the machining of its first engine pylon and centre wing-box components. In addition, there has been good news for the flagship A380, ten years after its first flight, with the programme breaking-even for the first time.

New Factories in China and the U.S.

In September, Airbus opened its first factory in the U.S., at Mobile on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, where between 40 and 50 A320 Family aircraft will be produced annually by 2018. In China, additional orders for the A330 not only complements the company’s plans for a new A330 completion and delivery centre in Tianjin. Furthermore, in 2015 Airbus launched three new incremental aircraft developments which include: the long-range version of the A321neo which will offer true transatlantic operation; the regional version of the A330 which is optimised to seat up to 400 passengers on missions up to 3,000nm; and the ultra-long-range version of the A350-900, capable of 19-hour flights.

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