Airbus -US and World Market
When American aircraft manufacturers were lobbying to prevent Airbus' entry into the American market, George Warde, a former president of American Airlines was appointed by Airbus to promote its fleet in America. By 1978, Eastern and Pan American World Airways, Inc. had decided to include the A300 craft in their fleets. By 1984, Airbus introduced A320, the model that had incorporated fly-by wire technology, as a direct competitor to the leading player in the American aviation segment. Even before its maiden commercial flight, Airbus had already booked orders for 400 A320s, thereby marking its territory in American aviation. The proceeds from the A320s went a long way in off-setting losses for Airbus which in 1980s were believed to be between $7billion and $10 billion. By 1992, every major airline in the US was a customer of Airbus.
As of date, the US market constitutes 30% of the current global demand for Airbus. The North American segment is a mature market and is largely driven by replacements. Combined contributions of the air sector contribute to 6 million jobs here translating to a GDP contribution of US$550 billion. Latin America is still a growing sector though there is a current surge of confidence in this segment as well. The contribution is immeasurable in terms of sustainable development. Air transport forms the backbone of the freight transport in the US and is a vital part of the eco-tourism sector, and the food supply chains domestically and for exports.
In 2007, Airbus recorded a bumper year in terms of new orders but 2008 saw a decided slump as marked globally. This trend carried forward to 2009.However, Airbus announced in Jan 2010 that it had recorded delivery of 498 aircraft to customers in 2009. It had beaten its rival Boeing in terms of deliveries for the 7th year running. By the end of 2009, Airbus had recorded orders in its books for US$ 437 billion. The A380 is the flagship craft of the company fleet as of now as it imbibes advanced technology and lowers costs simultaneously.
The A350XWB is expected to be ready for flight by 2013.It has been engineered to enhance the aerodynamic system considerably. Airbus is also working on "Cabin Concept" technology which will be available in-flight by 2050. In 2010, Airbus had displayed a blue-print of the green technologies adapted in the manufacture of its aircraft. It has accordingly applied these technologies and succeeded in creating a 100% recyclable cabin. Airbus is also working on developing alternative fuels; some of the source options being explored are algae, wood chips waste and yeast. Energy harvesting concepts are also being explored for in-flight operations.