Airbus is the main thing aeronautical Constructeur European. It is a subsidiary company at 100% of the industry group EADS. It conceives, develops, builds, sells and ensures the after-sales customer support of the Avion S of the same name.
The airframe manufacturer is in competition with American Boeing.
Creation of a GIEThe consortium of European aeronautical manufacturers included/understood with his creation the December 18th 1970, in the form of a GIE, the Aérospatiale (France) and the Deutsche Airbus (Germany). The Aerospatiale resulted from the recent fusion of South-Aviation and North-Aviation, while Deutsche Airbus gathered Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm and VFW - Fokker. In spite of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, Hawker-Siddeley preserves the subcontracting of the wings.
British Aerospace adhered to the consortium in 1979, at the time where Airbus had a fleet of 81 planes only in service. The participation of the Member States of the consortium was then the following one: 38 % for the Germans and the French, 20 % for the British and 4 % for the Spaniards. Belairbus (Belgium) and Fokker (Netherlands) takes part in certain Airbus programs.
Key planes of AirbusIn 1988, Airbus left the A320, the first civil aircraft with electric orders of flight, a functionality very initially, in particular discussed thanks to the experience accumulated on Concorde. It is the first plane of its category ( narrow body or individual aisle , i.e. with narrow fuselage or only one corridor of 150 places approximately) conceived after the Boeing 737 which dates from the Sixties and it is now the airliner more produced in the world.
The family A330 - A340 then came to supplement the range by the long-distance carriers brought into service starting from 1992. The launching of the development of A380 at the end of 2000 will push with the transformation of the legal structure of Airbus.
Transformation into an integrated companyIn 2001, following the consolidation of the European aircraft industry, the consortium becomes a company integrated, held into 80 % by EADS, first European group of the sector and 20 % by BAE, second European group.
In September 2006, EADS repurchased in British Aerospace its 20% prisoners in the capital of Airbus. At the end of January 2007, the weekly magazine " Capital" announced that Russia negotiated an acquisition of a holding of 20% of the European airframe manufacturer, via a bank or a company of State Russian (see Vnechtorgbank and OAK).
Recent difficulties, challenges to take upFollowing the financial problems of the group, French Louis Gallois, to the head of the company since the October 9th 2006, presented a restructuring plan (" Power 8") in February 2007. This plan had been prepared by the preceding executive President (CEO) of Airbus, Christian Streiff, which had resigned 100 days after its taking of.
A Commission Report of the economic affairs of the Senate, published in June 2007, presents the situation of the company and examines the ways of its rectification.
Leaders of Airbus industry
- Henri Ziegler: 1970 - 1975
- Bernard Lathière: 1975 - 1985
- Jean Pierson: 1985 - April 1998
- Noel Forgeard: April 1998 - July 2001 (then like CEO)
- Noel Forgeard: July 2001 - June 2005
- Gustav Humbert: June 2005 - July 2006
- Christian Streiff: July 2006 - October 2006
- Louis Gallois: October 2006 - August 2007
- Thomas Enders: starting from August 27th, 2007
Range of the planes Airbus: in 2006, the European airframe manufacturer took 824 new orders against 1111 in 2005. By taking account of cancellations of contracts during the year, the net value is of 790 apparatuses against 1055 in 2005. In same Boeing time garnered 1044 orders against 1002 one year before.
This weakness must however be relativized for two reasons, of which second is temporary:
- Airbus realizes in 2006 its second better year in terms of sales of planes since its beginnings.
- Airbus remains the airframe manufacturer having delivered the most apparatuses in 2006, with 434 deliveries against 398 for Boeing. That is explained by the incompressible time (until several years) between the order by an airline company and the effective delivery of the plane. Airbus having been first during 5 years will continue to deliver more apparatuses than Boeing for some time.
Sites of design, manufactureAirbus is now a completely integrated company, formed of 5 " NatCos" (Companies National):
- Central Airbus Entity (head office, Toulouse)
- Airbus France (Toulouse, St-Nazaire, Méaulte, Nantes)
- Airbus the U.K. (Filton and Broughton with the the United Kingdom)
- Airbus Deutschland (Hamburg, Bremen, Stage…)
- Airbus España (Madrid, It, Puerto Real).
The design of the apparatuses and their elements is done on the same sites as the sites of manufacture, by speciality. Moreover of the centers of design exist with Wichita (Kansas, the United States) and with Moscow (Russia).
The majority of principal the aeronautical manufacturers is multinationals, and it is not unusual for them to have factories on very distant sites. Airbus, however, is single in the fact that it is a European company born from the fusion of the French major aerospace companies, British, German and Spanish. The geographical location of the various sites of the company is less one problem practical and of cost that a subject of national interests and national prides.
Consequently, each partner of Airbus manufactures part of the plane, which requires to be transported in a site of final assembly, in order to assemble the complete plane there. The details vary from one model to another, but the usual organization is to manufacture the wing S in the United Kingdom, the Empennage in Spain, the Fuselage in Germany, and the nose and the central section in France (see details below).
The whole is assembled either with Toulouse or with Hamburg. The cabin of the planes in-flight status must then be personalized for the customer company, it is what is called the commercial installation , i.e. seats, toilets, kitchens, compartments with luggage, lining, electronic systems of lighting and communication, etc
Airbus employs approximately 55 000 people in several European countries and maintains the commercial representations with Washington, Beijing or Tokyo. Right from the start, the working language in the consortium was English, limited to a primarily technical vocabulary of approximately 5000 words. The subsets are produced in several factories distributed on the continent of Europe:
- wings with Filton and Broughton (the United Kingdom),
- before and back of the fuselages with Nordenham, Varel, Bremen and Hamburg (Germany),
- noses and the central part of the fuselages in Toulouse, Saint-Nazaire, Nantes and Méaulte (France),
- vertical stabilizers with Stage (Germany),
- pylons and nacelles of the Toulouse-Saint-Éloi engines (France),
- horizontal stabilizers and certain sections of A380 with Getafe, It and Puerto Real (Spain)
Sites of assemblyThe final assembly accounts for only 5% of the total added-value of the planes, but has a strong value symbolic system.
According to the planes and their alternatives, the assembly is until now carried out with:
- Toulouse (France) for A320, A300/310, A330, A340 and A380;
- Hamburg (Germany) for A318, A319 and A321.
The plan Power 8 however envisages a specialization of the sites of assembly:
- Hamburg for all the family A320 (A318, A319 and A321)
- Toulouse for the A380 and futures A350.
Centers of service-customerAirbus has many centers of service-customer, in 61 countries (Canada, the United States, Mexico, El Salvador, Brésil, Chile, Argentine, Mauritius, South Africa, Morocco, Algérie, Tunisia, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France - including in Swiss New Caledonia, , the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Tchéquie, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaïdjan, Iran, Ouzbékistan, Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunéi, Filipino, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand).
Competition with Boeing
See also: Duel Boeing Airbus
The industrial experts recognize from now on with his product range a technological quality and of innovation higher than that of its American competitor, whose certain models are exceeded today. As example, Boeing 737 still uses components designed in the Fifties.
Boeing started to counter-attack with its 787, whose first deliveries could occur as of 2008 but also thanks to the advanced versions of its Boeing 777 which dominate the market of the large transport aircrafts and with the constant orders of 737 by the companies " low-cost" in 2005.
May 30th, 2007, Airbus and the company Qatar Airways signed the order of 80 A350 Airbus for a value of 16 billion dollards and the December 5th 2005, Airbus and Clouded Aviation Beg Importation & Export Group (CASGC) signed an agreement for the purchase of 150 Airbus A320 for a value of approximately eight billion euros. 150 apparatuses (A319/A320/A321) of CASGC are intended for six companies: Air China, China Eastern Airlines, Clouded Southern Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines and Hainan Airlines.
After the last order in November 2007 of 70 A350 XWB and eleven A380, by Emirates Airlines with the living room of Dubai, they are the two greater orders, in value, in Airbus, of its history.
Evolution of manpower
In 2005Manpower of the company are distributed in various areas, in Europe for the majority.
The precise distribution is the following one:
By activity, the distribution is the following one:
Restructuring plan Power 8 of February 2007February 28th, 2007, Airbus presented a Restructuring plan known as " Power 8 ".
This planprévoit 10.000 redundancies and the transfer of several factories over 3 years. What would bring back manpower of 55.000 in 2005 to 45.000 in 2008.
This disputed plan is the cause of many demonstrations especially at the head office with Toulouse.
But " Airbus already reached half of the objectives of savings in 300 million euros which it had set in 2007 within the framework of the " restructuring plan; Power 8" " , Louis Gallois declares on June 18th, 2007, at the time of the aeronautical living room of Le Bourget.
Within sight of the business successes recorded by the airframe manufacturer in Le Bourget, the trade unions of Airbus in Germany asked for an easing of this plan. But " we have more than ever need for Power 8. Because we do not support the comparison with Boeing in terms of costs. The greatest error that we could make now would be to return to height of Boeing in terms of incomes but not on the level of the costs " , the business manager of Airbus declared.
Power 8 remains essential, according to Louis Gallois, " in order to adapt the company to the enormous constraint which the weakness of the dollar represents. In addition, the suppressions of employment relate to only the stations known as of structure, not having a direct relationship with the production. Parallel to these departures, we are engaging on the production lines. The industrial employment within Airbus thus progressed since the beginning of the year ".
As for the French who fear to make the sacrifices immediately, whereas they would be differed in Germany where the social legislation is more protective, Louis Gallois continues: " I am aware of this fear perfectly. I affirm very clearly that the rates/rhythms of application must be similar in the various countries and that we will not go more quickly on a side of the Rhine than of the other. I think besides that there is no will of blocking. In each country, managements and labor are conscious of the need for a plan of competitiveness ".
According to a study of the credit insurer Euler Sfac, published this week, a French employee is from now on 59% more expensive than American. The blaze of the European currency cancelled all the efforts of productivity of Airbus, which wants to go even further with its restructuring plan Power 8.
French, strong aircraft industry of 120.000 employment, seemed also fragile forever. " We carry out 76% of our purchases in Europe. It is what the politicians want, but that will change! " , had launched mid-June the former German Co-chairman of EADS, Thomas Enders. Vis-a-vis the rise of the euro, " we must either reduce our margins or to delocalize " , Charles Edelstenne, chairman of Dassault increases and chair Grouping of aeronautical and space French industries (Gifas).
After successes of the living room of Dubai, the owner of EADS Louis Gallois, prevented (BFM, November 7th, 2007) that it " was necessary to react to the slip dollar" vis-a-vis the euro, in the cade of the restructuring plan of EADS Power8. " Each time the dollar loses 10 centimes, we lose more than in the long term one billion euros." Power8 had been established on the basis of foreign exchange rate with 1,35 dollar for 1 euro, whereas the euro was this day with more than 1,45 dollar, and seems to settle durably with the top of this rate.
Planes of the range Airbus
The first plane manufactured by Airbus, A300, was thus named because it was to transport 300 people out of standard. Thereafter, each new model bore an incremented name of 10 into 10: A310, A320, A330, A340, shortened or lengthened versions of A320 having a very close number (A318, A319, A321).
The theory would thus have liked that at the time of its launching, a3XX takes the name of A350. But it was necessary to mark the event by a special treatment. One proposed “A360”, the figure pointing out the 360° of a round the world tour. Finally the decision makers chose A380: on the one hand the 8 pointed out the two lines of superimposed port-holes which characterize the plane, and on the other hand - and especially - the 8 is a figure amulet in the Eastern tradition… Asia being the main market targeted by the future floret of the airframe manufacturer.
In October 2006, Airbus announced that the delays of delivery of A380 would cause 2,8 billion euros of dependant trading losses cumulated until 2010.
Military aircraftsThe arrival of Airbus on this market goes back to 1993, date of the launching of A400M, transport aircraft necessary to the projection of forces.
But EADS, head office of Airbus, or before its old national recipients (Aerospace Matra, Dasa, British Aerospace, Put), were already present on these markets. In particular with CASA, world leader on the market of the transport aircraft military of small and average capacity: planes EADS CASA C-212, CN-235 and C-295, of which 700 of these apparatuses are in service near 100 operators in the world. The Spanish Air force and the Polish armed forces ordered new C-295 (17 units), and the Navy of the United Arab Emirates retained C-295 ASW with the system of mission EADS CASA FITS for her program of planes of maritime patrol. System FITS was in addition chosen by the Spanish Air force to modernize its P-3 Orion and by the Marine of Mexico to modernize his planes C-212 of maritime surveyance.
The division of EADS (Military Transport Aircraft Division) can or wishes to answer several types of need: aerial tankers - one missed some at the time of the war of Kosovo -, planes radars of air raid warning or monitoring of the ground. With the requirement by making alliance with an American supplier for the Pentagon (of which the choice is not necessarily easy), for example for the market of the renewal of the American aerial tankers.
Launching of a400M“ This apparatus meets at the same time the needs tactical and strategic of the air forces, whereas they were up to that point obliged to use different planes ”, Noel Forgeard, the copresident of EADS of the time underlined.
The program, managed by the OCCAr, adds up 170 orders of 6 European countries at the origin of the program, to which are added 22 orders of 3 other countries (Turkey, South Africa and Malaysia).
The first flight of a400M is envisaged in 2008, the deliveries being spread out between 2009 and 2018.
The competitors of this military aircraft seem to be at Lockheed (C-141 Starlifter) and Antonov (Antonov Year-70).
Transformation of A310 and A330 in the supply craft multirôles (MRTT)Airbus started by converting A310 into A310 MRTT, general-purpose planes being able to also carry out supply in vol. A310 MRTT are used by the air forces of Germany (Luftwaffe) and of Canada, and offer capacities similar to Boeing KC- 135R in the supply craft, and higher in the cargo liner.
Then Airbus answered the invitation to tender of the US Air Force, in collaboration with Northrop Grumman under the name of KC-30, to replace 100 of its more than 400 tankers KC-135, derived from Boeing 707. This invitation to tender had led to the selection of Boeing, which was invalidated for trading of favors: Darleen Druyun, an employee of the compromised Pentagon was in particular condemned in October 2004 to 9 months of prison.
In 2004, Airbus was selected by the Australian armed forces to deliver five A330 MRTT, Ravitailleur S in flight conceived starting from A330, for 1,48 billion euros.
See also: HTTP: /en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A330_MRTT Airbus A330 MRTT and photograph
Such a modification is similar to that of A310, but present with A330 of many advantages:
- it profits of higher capacity of carrying of A330.
- the A330 MRTT uses the aerofoil of the four-jet aircraft A340, and the two sites free engines are appropriate perfectly to adapt points of supply. The plane thus appeared very easy to convert into Ravitailleur.
It is thus a new example of the interest of the modular approach of Airbus, with maximum standardization within the " famille" A330/A340. Even if it is about a " good surprise" since this transformation had not been considered when designing this family of planes.
The totality of the fuel is contained in the tanks structural of the apparatus, possibly supplemented removable tanks in the compartment. What makes it possible to preserve the whole availability of the cabin for transport of troops and compartment cargo liner for military material, and offers a great versatility (strategic transport of troops and material, transport of personalities, medical evacuation…) very appreciated: planes being used only as supply craft (thus flying little when no air operation is in hand) are a luxury that few air forces can be offered.
This versatility and the facility of conversion in the tanker contributes to explain the success of this approach, confirmed since:
at the end of February 2005, the consortium Air Tanker (EADS, Thalès, Rolls-Royce, Cobham and VT Group), was indicated tenderer preferred by the British ministry of defense for the program of supply craft of the Royal Air Force. Contract of 18,8 billion euros, over 27 years.
in February 2007, the United Arab Emirates announced in their turn to have signed with Airbus for three A330 supply craft.
on February 12th, 2007, Saudi Arabia signed an agreement with the French government to buy two supply craft A330 MRTT, which will be converted with EADS Casa, Getafe (Spain) to be delivered at the end of 2009.
These successes of Airbus, including three except Europe, put to the European airframe manufacturer in excellent position in the new invitation to tender (program KC-X) of the US Air Force relating to the replacement of 100 tankers KC-135.
EADS stated besides to be ready to invest in the United States if it were selected. The group spoke about the opening of a new research department, in addition to that of Airbus with Wichita (Kansas), as well as line of assembly.
Detailed list of the planes Airbus
- Duel Boeing Airbus
- Official site Airbus
- Advance of the program of a400M
- Comparisons between the various planes of the range Airbus
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