LONDON – Airbus has celebrated an important milestone with the delivery of its 12,000th commercial aircraft. The plane, however, was not built at the manufacturer’s plants in Toulouse, Hamburg, Mobile or Tianjin, but in Mirabel, Canada.
Delta Air Lines welcomed the delivery of its 12th A220-100, celebrating with Airbus the tremendous accomplishment of the 12,000th plane manufactured under the Airbus brand.
The A220 debuted commercial service in the US with Delta last February, but the carrier received its first unit of the type back in October 2018.
Commenting on Twitter about the milestone was Airbus CEO, Guillaume Faury, who stated that work is still needed to ensure consolidation of success.
Airbus not only celebrated on the ground this important achievement. It took Delta’s A220 for a spin in Southern Canada, drawing the ’12K’ number with its flight path.
A second final assembly line for the A220 program in Alabama is due to begin delivering planes in 2020.
Looking back at Delivery 001:
The first Airbus commercial aircraft to be delivered was the A300B2 to Air France. The ceremony took place in Toulouse on May 10, 1974.
Air France’s first A300B4 launched commercial operations on the Paris-Orly to London-Heathrow route only 13 days after having been delivered to the carrier.
It took the European planemaker less than five years to produce and deliver its first 100 planes, but to reach the 500 plane mark, it had to wait an additional decade.
In October 2016, about 42 years after having delivered that A300 to Air France, Airbus reached the impressive milestone of delivering the 10,000th plane—an A350-900 to Singapore Airlines.
It only took the manufacturer less than three years to produce 2,000 more planes. Boosted by the acquisition of the Bombardier CSeries program, Airbus has managed not only to increase its portfolio but also to ramp-up the plane deliveries to worldwide customers.
The level of rapid growth will no doubt continue to rise, with forecasts from the manufacturer stated that over the next 20 years, 37,400 new aircraft will be needed—equivalent to around $5.8 trillion in value for the passenger and freighter market.
These gargantuan figures are subject to a 4.4% annual growth rate, which will be something that Airbus will want to capture at the Paris Air Show next month and beyond.
As per the April 2019 numbers, the Airbus backlog remains steady at around 7,287 aircraft. Should these numbers see an increase, we could see the 20,000th aircraft delivered by the end of the next decade.