First for new A350 XWB and incremental order for A380

Airbus rounded off a successful 45th Farnborough airshow by receiving firm orders and commitments for 182 aircraft valued at US $ 21.5 billion, from 12 customers.

Amongst those is the first commitment for the new A350 XWB which Airbus presented at the beginning of the Airshow. It is from Singapore Airlines which signed a Letter of Intent for 20 firm A350s and 20 options. Singapore Airlines also placed a repeat order for the A380, adding nine to its initial order for ten. In addition, Singapore will lease 19 A330-300s.

The 182 firm orders and commitments also include 112 A320 Family aircraft as well as 40 A330s, reflecting the market’s strong interest for Airbus’ existing widebody long range twin, currently available.

"This Airshow clearly demonstrates the confidence our customers are placing in Airbus to deliver the product they need," said Airbus President and CEO, Christian Streiff, who made his first public appearance at this Airshow. "It is also a reflection on the vitality of Airbus and its commitment towards current and new customers to fully satisfy their requirements" he added.

The firm orders comprise, in chronological order, India's Go Air for 10 A320s (with options on ten more), Air Caraïbes for an A330-300, a private customer for the ACJ, Aegean Airlines for three A320s, ILFC for six A320s, Malaysia's Air Asia for 40 A320s (with options for 30 more), CIT Group Inc. for five A330-200s and four A320s, and European Wizz Air for 20 A320s.

In addition to the Singapore Airlines Letter of Intent for 48 aircraft, the commitments, in chronological order, were from Libya's Afriqiyah for three A319s and six A320s (with options for five more) as well as for three A330-200s (plus three options), from Spanish travel group Grupo Marsans for 12 A330-200s (plus ten options), and from Germany's Blue Wings for 20 A320s.

Airbus kicked off the Airshow by presenting its new Family of advanced long range and fuel-efficient aircraft, the A350 XWB. "The A350 XWB stands for Extra Wide Body, Extra Comfort, Extra Efficiency and going the Extra mile for customers," said John Leahy, Airbus COO Customers. Due for entry into service in 2012, it has an entirely new fuselage, composite wings and modern cabin.

The new family of aircraft comprises three passenger versions. The A350-800 seats 270 passengers in a spacious three-class configuration, the A350-900 can accommodate 314 and the A350-1000 is designed for a capacity of 350. All three versions will have a range of 8,500 nm and a cruise speed of Mach 0.85.

Also announced at the show was an extension of the popular Airbus Family of Freighters with the proposed launch of the A330-200F freighter for medium to long-range operations.

During Farnborough Airbus also announced that the A380 had passed 15,000 simulated flights in fatigue tests. This is three times the required amount for certification. At the end of testing 47,500 flights will have been simulated. This represents two and a half times the aircraft’s designed number of years in commercial service. The sixth A380 also made its maiden flight on 19th July.

Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE Systems.