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Fri, Dec 14, 2007

Airbus Delivers Its 5,000th Plane To Qantas

Comes Two Years After 4,000th Aircraft Delivery

On Friday, Airbus celebrated a major milestone in its relatively short existence -- the delivery of its 5,000th aircraft, an A330-200, to Australian airline Qantas at a special ceremony in Toulouse.

Thirty three years ago, in May 1974, Airbus delivered its very first aircraft, an A300B2, to launch customer Air France. Nineteen years later, in 1993, Airbus delivered its 1,000th aircraft, and it took but another six years to reach the 2000th in 1999.

As further evidence of the European planemaker's subsequent growth - as well as expanded product offerings, most notably its popular A320 narrowboy line -- the 3,000th Airbus aircraft was delivered in 2002, and only three years later, in September 2005, the 4,000th.

It took Airbus more than 30 years to deliver more than half of all airliners of more than 100 seats delivered in one year. This was in 2005, and Airbus has remained in the lead since. It also took Airbus some 30 years after its initial creation in 1970 to bypass it main competitor, Boeing, in terms of sales  -- and remain constantly at around half the market share, with more than 50 percent for five years in a row since 2001.

Airbus says its history shows how long it takes to become a major player in this very difficult and long term market.

"Not only does it require a vision, but it also requires a strong commitment to invest in the long term. This was the basis to the Airbus success", says Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders. "And today, I want to assure our customers, our employees, our suppliers and shareholders, and all our other stakeholders, that we are committed to building on this success for the future by ensuring the competitiveness of our company and its products to the benefit of all."

FMI: www.airbus.com, www.qantas.com

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