It feels like just yesterday that TPG and I traveled to Airbus HQ in Toulouse, France (TLS) to join a celebration for the company’s 10,000th aircraft delivery — a Singapore Airlines A350-900. Monday, Airbus delivered its 12,000th plane in Mirabel, Canada — an A220-100 bound for Delta Air Lines.
The first Airbus delivery, a wide-body A300, took place back in 1974, and the 6,000th aircraft — an Emirates A380 — began flying in 2010. The European manufacturer has clearly made great strides since its early years, though there’s no question that the recent Bombardier acquisition has helped Airbus boost performance even further.
While these figures are impressive, Airbus still has a long way to go to catch up with Boeing, which got its start decades before, back in 1916. The Seattle-based aircraft maker has rolled out more than 10,000 737s alone, though recent issues with the 737 MAX could curb growth.
As for Airbus, this latest milestone just so happens to coincide with a big event I’m attending this week in Toulouse, where executives plan to discuss some of the company’s recent innovations. Time will tell what the future will bring — Airbus Urban Mobility and other projects could make 12,000 aircraft deliveries seem like chump change as we enter a new age of aviation.
Featured photo courtesy of Airbus.