Airbus, one of the leading manufacturers of jetliners and military air lifters over the past 40 years, is an EADS company based in Toulouse, France, and incorporated under French law as a simplified joint stock company or SAS (Societe par Actions Simplifiee). While the company's final assembly units have been set up in Toulouse, Seville, Hamburg and Tianjin (China), it also has subsidiaries in United States, Japan, China and India. To support growth, Airbus has developed a logistics system to transport components over Europe and established Centers of Excellence to take advantage of local knowledge and skills. Airbus projects a rise in the number of air passengers by 145% between 2007 and 2026.
From its initial days itself, Airbus has believed innovation to be the key to success in the aviation sector. When all other players in the civil aviation segment were focusing on 3 or 4 engine aircraft, Airbus introduced the A300 to the world; the company's first twin engine wide body jet entered service in 1974.With the introduction of the jet engine aircraft, the aviation industry underwent a notable transformation regarding fuel efficiency and environmental consciousness. In the early 1980s, Airbus introduced the concept of the forward facing crew cockpit in its A300B setting new standards for the industry.
Then it went ahead to develop the A310, a shortened version of A300.It was also in the 1980s that Airbus introduced the civil aviation segment to fly-by-wire flight controls and side stick controllers in its A320s. The early 1990s witnessed the manufacture of ultra efficient A330s and A340s. A 21st century introduction has been its A380 which raised the standards of environmental consciousness in the industry with its superlative eco-friendly performance. This range of carriers reduced noise levels by 70%, and CO2 and NOX emissions by a hitherto unattainable amount.
The A350 XWB introduced recently has been privy to the most progressive manufacturing technology adopted by engineers to better the aerodynamics of the craft. This model is expected to take to the skies in 2013. In the late 1990s, Airbus turned its focus to military aviation; it initiated its operations in this sector with aerial refueling and tactical airlifts. Today, its military product portfolio has expanding to include A330 Multi-role Tanker Transport. Airbus, which employs a 52,000-strong workforce across the globe, is the first aircraft manufacturer to have its sites and products awarded ISO 14001 certified status.
On an average, demand of 1,300 aircraft annually equating to US $ 3.2 trillion are catered to by Airbus. In June 2011, the company's year to date deliveries stood at 258 aircraft for 66 customers. Average global deliveries of passenger and freight aircraft, as of date, total 25,850.According to Airbus' latest Global Market Forecast (GMF), demand in the future will mostly be driven by replacement of aircraft with eco-efficient models in all mature markets. It also foresees consistent long term growth for the aviation market with a need for nearly 26,000 new passenger craft alone.