From European dream to global giant: Airbus marks half century

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The signing of the 1969 aviation agreement in a Paris show by German’s Transport economy ministry has forever changed the course of aviation history. The introduction of the European passenger plane would challenge the American BOEING which was considered to be the King of civil aviation at that time.

The A300B2, a lighter and more economical 2 engine aircraft as opposed to the 3 engine BOEING which was a standard then was introduced five years after the agreement of the signing. This came as Europe was on the lookout for a smaller and more economical aircraft. 

To this day, Airbus is considered to be a European success story and has clearly rivaled the American BOEING aircrafts in the civil aviation industry. Although it didn’t come easy for the company as they are marred by controversies including a recent investigation in the US, UK and France for transaction irregularities in 2016. Political issues and production problems caused a few setbacks to the company as well. Today, they have expanded their product line which now includes the Jumbo Jet, Choppers, jet fighters and now into space exploration.

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Despite all the setbacks though, the European giant aircraft maker has a very positive outlook at making more impact in the next half a century. CEO Guillaume Faury who replaced Tom Enders in April says “We employ 130,000 highly-skilled people globally and are a powerful engine of productivity, exports and innovation for Europe”. This as The Company just delivered their thousand planes in just over 30 months, a feat which would take those 20 years to produce back then.

The launch of the A320, a single isle aircraft challenged the dominance of BEOING in civil aviation while The A320neo cemented Airbus’ share of the market especially after the Boeing 737 MAX was grounded due to several fatal crashes last March and October.

Still 11 percent of airbus holding belongs to France and Germany, and about 4 percent by the Spanish government. The remaining shares are traded in the stock market. Unfortunately, despite the seeming success of airbus, the company announced that they will be stopping production of the A280 in 2021 for lack of orders as some key airline owner’s encountered financial difficulties over the previous years.

Industry Experts are more positive though with airbus that the company will have a share of profit in the booming airline industry especially in Asia where budget airline travel has become a hit. Experts believe that the company will leverage from the recent grounding of the Boeing Max 375 because of two recent fatal crashes by a popular airline company.

Airbus CEO also believes that airbus will continue to be significant and a leader in the industry. This despite report of profit loss by 86 percent or 40 percent Euros (45 Million US dollars) in 2018.  “The euro space industry stands on the cusp of a technological revolution to match anything in its history” he said.

Despite all the setbacks and controversies the company is facing, airbus aircraft lands or takes off around the world every two seconds.

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