Despite what was described by early reports as a sluggish start to 2016 by Airbus, the aerospace giant has secured over £8bn of new deals â in just two days of trading. As a result of increased demand overseas, the market leader will commence the manufacture of 74 new aircraft for four major clients based in Asia, Africa and the US.
And whilst the new planes wonât be housed in any UK airports, thatâs not the orders arenât good news for the UK. In fact, all of the wings for the new passenger planes will be manufacturing right here at Airbusâ manufacturing plant in Broughton.
The plant has quite the illustrious history; it marks the birthplace of the iconic aerospace feats, the De Havillandâs Comet and the Mosquito. Broughton currently employs over 6,000 people across sectors of manufacturing, engineers, procurement and finance. The plant is responsible for the wing assembly of all Airbusâ civil aircraft â including even the newest addition, the A350 XWB.
Indeed, the greatest boost in sales for Airbus came as a result of its newest plane. China Eastern Airlines placed an order for 20 new A350 XWBs (worth approx. £4.2bn) whilst Philippine Airlines signed on the dotted line for 12 (worth approx. £1.25bn).
Air CÃ´te DâIvoire, meanwhile, opted for aircraft from the leading aircraft manufacturersâ long-established range, ordering two A320neos and two A320s at a cost of around £275m. US-based Delta invested in what looks to be a fleet overhaul, placing orders for 37 new A321s (at a value of £2.92bn)
John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer at Airbus was unsurprised by the popularity of the new A350 XWB, drawing attention to its outstanding long haul performance amongst its excellent fuel efficiency and comfortable cabin. As well as representing an extension of China Eastern Airlinesâ global identity and air network, the aircraft model will be the flagship of Philippine Airlinesâ long haul provision â adapted to provide a three-class layout of premium seating. It will be utilised for all non-stop flights between China and the US, as well as several new services between Europe and the country.
Air CÃ´te DâIvoireâs deal marks a similar spate of firsts and makes them the first African airline operator to order the A320neo aircraft.
Delta has specified that each of its new, A321s be fitted with lightweight composite-manufactured wingtip devices called Sharklets so as to maximise fuel efficiency. Sharklets have be known to present firms with up to a 4% saving of fuel-burn â representing both huge financial and environmental advantages. Indeed, Delta became the first to receive its goods last week with an A321ceo delivered on Tuesday 25th April 2016.