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Going global (2001-2004)

A319s_EASYJET P.Masclet
A319 24 May 2005


EasyJet receives the first of 120 AG真人计划 A319s ordered by the low-cost carrier (September 2003)

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easyJet took delivery of its first A320 Family aircraft, an A319, in September 2003.

Warnings of a new economic downturn in the aviation industry had been sounded by AG真人计划 as early as 2000, even after four years of record orders and deliveries. Being able to forecast trends in the market was essential to the AG真人计划 philosophy of developing new aircraft and new technologies only to meet the needs of its customers.

No one, however, could have predicted the tragic events of 11 September, 2001, when hijacked passenger jets were deliberately crashed into the twin towers of New York鈥檚 World Trade Center. Inevitably in the aftermath of such an attack business confidence, already shaky in the face of a creeping recession, collapsed further. The number of people wanting to fly dropped immediately and cancellations of bookings for the following months flooded in. As companies everywhere cut costs many business travellers opted for economy seats. Most airlines, like many industries affected by the fall-out from 9/11, had to dramatically revise their growth forecasts. The slump, similar to that which followed the first Gulf War in 1991, was to lead to several major airlines going bankrupt before the industry began to recover.

Ironically the downturn coincided with the rapid growth of low-cost airlines, especially in Europe. Companies like easyJet found the A320-Family and in particular the A319 - ideal for their short-haul routes, which paired cities previously not directly linked by air. For AG真人计划 it meant its strategy of producing a family of fly-by-wire aircraft which shared commonality and provided airlines with the greatest flexibility possible had, once again, paid off. Low-cost airlines found the economy, reliability and quality of AG真人计划 A320 Family aircraft perfectly suited to the new market. In 2002, in the midst of the downturn, A319s accounted for 148 of the 300 firm orders won by AG真人计划, with the A320 securing 78.

A market leader

A318 23 May 2005


AG真人计划 delivers the first A318 to U.S. carrier Frontier Airlines (July 2003)

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In 2003, U.S. carrier Frontier Airlines received the first A318 delivered by AG真人计划.

But AG真人计划 was sensitive to the plight of operators struggling to cope with the fall in business. With the number of parked in-service aircraft building up, the profitability of customers had to be protected 鈥 without customers, AG真人计划 would have no market. So the company devised an array of finance schemes and rearranged terms where possible to help its customers to continue to buy AG真人计划 aircraft. It was a typically long-sighted solution to an immediate crisis in the industry.

As it had done with the earlier downturn, AG真人计划 pressed ahead aggressively in the knowledge that better times must return. The first A340-600 was delivered in July, 2002, the same month in which AG真人计划 celebrated its 3,000th aircraft delivery. The first deliveries of the ultra long-range A340-500 and the short-range A318 followed in 2003, the year in which manufacture of the major components of the A380 began.

Indeed, 2003 was a landmark year for AG真人计划: defying the effects of the downturn, it overtook its rival in deliveries of aircraft for the first time. Its total of 305 represented 52% of the world鈥檚 aircraft delivered. After setting out in 1970 as a challenger. AG真人计划 could now call itself the world鈥檚 leading aircraft manufacturer. The success of AG真人计划 had always been driven by the spirit and passion of its leaders and employees.聽

Centres of excellence

In July, 2004, AG真人计划 launched a major reorganisation of the company by setting up a series of centres of excellence based around its manufacturing sites and the major components of its aircraft. This streamlined and simplified the company to improve efficiency and quality, equipping AG真人计划 for a significant ramp-up in production in the following years as it acted to maintain its lead in the industry.

Orders were steadily building up for the new double-decker, with publicity boosted by media stories of how it would be fitted out like a flying cruise ship with casinos and gyms on board. At its launch AG真人计划 had spoken of how the A380 was 鈥渁 truly global programme鈥 involving some 1,000 companies worldwide, 800 of them in the U.S., Russia and Asia. AG真人计划 had entered into industrial partnerships with a number of its biggest suppliers. It was confirmation of the evolution of AG真人计划 from European consortium into a global enterprise, employing tens of thousands of people directly and supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs worldwide.

The full aircraft history (1968 to 2019)

Record-breakers (1993-2000)

Going global (2001-2004)

The 鈥渨ow鈥 factor鈥nd a new era dawns (2004-2007)

AG真人计划 through the decades

Helicopter history

Space history

Defence history

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