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News Review International

Airbus 10,000th aircraft, A350-900, 9V-SMF (c/n 054), was handed


over to Singapore Airlines on October 14. ALL PHOTOS AIRBUS

Airliner Worlds Craig West


travelled to Toulouse to
witness the handover of
Airbus landmark jet.

EUROPEAN AEROSPACE giant Airbus is


in a celebratory mood after delivering
its 10,000th aircraft. The landmark jet,
10,000 N
Speaking at the handover ceremony,
Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong
said he was honoured to take delivery
of our company were true visionaries but
even they could not have foreseen that
we would reach this milestone.
the A380 was also a hot topic for
conversation at the ceremony.
The manufacturer revealed at the
A350-900, 9V-SMF (c/n 054), was of the milestone jet. Airbus aircraft have In the 1970s we were producing just Farnborough Air Show in July that it
handed over to Singapore Airlines on contributed greatly to our successes half an aircraft per month and there were will reduce production rates from 2.5
October 14 during an elaborate over the decades, and we are proud to years when we had more cancellations aircraft per month to just one, amid
ceremony at the manufacturers be sharing this important milestone with than new orders. Today we deliver more dwindling customer interest in Airbus
Toulouse/Blagnac facility. our longstanding and trusted partner, than 600 airframes per year and the flagship offering. The change, due from
Addressing the assembled audience of he commented. Todays delivery shows ramp-up is continuing. 2018, will cut deliveries to 12 A380s a
employees, dignitaries and media rep- just how far Airbus has come over the The CEO highlighted the companys year, significantly lower than the current
resentatives, Airbus Group CEO Tom decades. On behalf of the staff and exponential growth. It took us 19 break-even threshold of 27 airframes, a
Enders kicked off his speech with a nod management of Singapore Airlines, I years to deliver the first 1,000 aircraft level only achieved last year.
to the manufacturers Chief Operating would like to congratulate Airbus for it has taken us less than 19 months Enders explained: We see the A380
Officer Customers John Leahy who, reaching this incredible milestone. to deliver the last 1,000. In fact, almost as an aircraft that will be very much in
Enders quipped, is the man who sold 8,000 of the 10,000 airliners we have demand in the future. We have slowed
8,800 of the 10,000 aircraft. An Upward Trajectory built were produced in the last 15 years. down production rates for the short-
He continued: Its a real honour to deliv- Enders used the handover ceremony to term but weve very confident this will
er this aircraft MSN54 to Singapore reflect on what he dubbed a remark- Bigger and Better pick up again.
Airlines, one of the worlds greatest and able landmark for Airbus. Ten thousand Though talk was dominated by the Leahy added: The aircraft generates
most admired carriers, and one of our is an astonishing number. The founders A350XWB, Airbus newest widebody jet, an awful lot of passenger interest and
longest-standing customers.
Handing over the landmark aircraft to
the flag carrier was particularly
poignant for Airbus. Its relationship
with the airline dates back to 1979 and
its first order for the A300 Singapore
Airlines and its subsidiaries have
operated every subsequent model
produced by the European firm.
Enders extolled the virtues of a true
partnership with the carrier, noting:
We have enjoyed many milestones
together, including the great moment in
aviation history when Singapore Airline
became the first in the world to operate
the A380 in October 2007.
The CEO added: Today, the SIA Group
operates aircraft from across our complete
product line and with the highest levels of
technical excellence. There is no better
endorsement for our products and we
thank the entire SIA Group for its ongoing
confidence, partnership and support.

22 AIRLINER WORLD DECEMBER 2016


News Review International

Attendees at the delivery ceremony included


Airbus and Singapore Airlines employees,
dignitaries and media representatives.

0 Not Out
BELOW LEFT Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders
(right) and Chief Operating Officer Customers
John Leahy flank Singapore Airlines CEO Goh
Choon Phong.
BOTTOM The landmark aircraft, which car-
ries special 10,000th Airbus markings on the
rear fuselage, was used to launch Singapore
Airlines new non-stop transpacific service
from Singapore to San Francisco on October 20.

times already, bigger improvements


such as a re-engined [neo] variant are a
case of when rather than if.

Renewed Optimism
Enders closed the event with the optimis-
tic prediction that Airbus will take just ten
years to deliver its next 10,000 aircraft.
Its a big target but its certainly not
unrealistic, the German CEO noted,
Why shouldnt we be ambitious?
Leahy concluded: Back in 1995, we
said we would have 50% of the market
share by the turn of the millennium and
a lot of people laughed at us. We ended
that year with 18% of all of the orders
sold and they laughed even louder, but
we reached 50% by 2000 and now
were ramping production up again and
people go out of their way to fly on the Ugena, expanded: We have to be real- experience in incremental development were delivering the aircraft airlines
aircraft. In fact, 10% of all passengers istic. We are never going to sell so programmes such as the A320neo and want and the passengers prefer to fly in.
using Heathrow this year will be getting many A380s that we have to ramp up the A330neo and has refused to rule out Were happy to congratulate our com-
on or off an A380. production to eight aircraft a month, but a similar initiative for its flagship aircraft. petitor [Boeing] on its centennial cele-
Notably, new sales of the type are being demand for travel between major hubs Enders explained: We are continuously brations, but I think the 21st century will
hampered by the emergence of second- will continue to grow. Were seeing a improving the A380 but weve said many probably belong to us
hand examples on the market. Launch trend of traffic doubling every 15 years
customer Singapore Airlines recently so the A380s modus operandi will not
confirmed it will not extend the lease change.
on its first A380, 9V-SKA (c/n 003), Like the other members of the Airbus
which was delivered in 2007 but will family, the superjumbo is subject to the
now return to lessor Doric Aviation next firms continuous improvement pro-
October (see Airliner World, November gramme, though Lucas-Ugena acknowl-
2016). However, while Phong suggested edged the type is now reaching a stage
the airline is yet to decide on the future where more substantial changes are
of its four remaining leased aircraft, he required if the manufacturer hopes to
did reaffirm the carriers commitment to attract new customers. This includes
the type. optimising the available cabin space: By
He added that the five new-build exam- reconfiguring the galleys and the stairs,
ples, the first of which will arrive in the we can create an extr a 25m2 [269sq ft]
second half of 2017, will feature an all- of interior space. The power of the
new cabin product, reflecting the manu- aircraft is its revenue potential so we
facturers plans to reinvigorate the type. need to explore this further and help our
Commenting during a technical brief- customers to adapt to the more compet-
ing later the same day, Airbus Head of itive environment we have today.
A350XWB Marketing, Marisa Lucas- Significantly, Airbus has gained valuable

www.airlinerworld.com 23