Tag Archives: Airbus

A380 transport convoy (Itinéraire à Grand Gabarit)

One of the most recognizable features of the Airbus industrial system, with factories in different countries, mainly in Germany, Spain, United Kingdom and France, where the main components and the aircraft are assembled, is the transportation of those components by the iconic A300-600ST Beluga aircraft.

Arriving TLS

Image credit to Brian Bukowski.

However, as most of the A380 components are too big to be carried onboard of the Beluga, a special transportation system was required to be put in place. It included transportation of the bigger components from the plants in Hamburg, Broughton, Saint-Nazaire and Cadiz by ship to the port of Paulliac, close to Bordeaux. From there, they travel by barge up the river Garonne to Langon. Then they are mounted on special purpose trucks to travel the road from Langon to the final assembly plant near Toulouse.

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Ever since I came to work to Toulouse nine years ago, I had wanted to go and see one night the A380 transport convoy on the road. I kept postponing it, until last month. Airbus announced in early 2019 that the A380 programme would come to a close with the last aircraft to be delivered somewhere in 2021. Therefore, not many such transports were left to be seen.

Fortunately there is a public website with all the information required to prepare the visit: Itinéraire à Grand Gabarit. It includes: maps of the route that is followed, a yearly calendar with the days in which the transport will take place, a detailed schedule with the time slot in which the transport will pass by the different villages along the route and support documentation.

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With that information I set out to see the convoy last December on the night between the 18th and 19th. Firstly, I went to see the convoy at their stop at L’Isle Jourdan.

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I then followed part of the route with the convoy, seeing how the team removed sign posts along the way and marked some points as reference for the truck drivers.

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Then I drove to Lévignac, a village where the pass is rather tight and slow. At Lévignac I found a group of about a dozen enthusiasts dressed in yellow vests who come to see every single convoy since years ago out of pure pleasure of watching such a magnificent sight.

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The convoy arrives at Lévignac at 2:23am and normally takes 12 minutes to pass by (see the detailed schedule above), but this time there were many cars parked in the streets which needed to be displaced: either by the tow truck or pushed by hand. Careful measurements were taken by the operators to ensure the convoy would pass.

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With all the checks properly done and cars removed, we enjoyed the slow pass of the 6 trucks:

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I got to see the convoy of MSN (manufacturer serial number) 270, an Emirates aircraft. There will be just two more aircraft to be built after that one, MSNs 271 and 272, with their respective convoys, which dates remain to be announced in the above-mentioned website at the time of writing this post. If you have the chance, do not miss it!

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Boeing 737 vs Airbus A320 family deliveries, 1967 – 2018

In the previous post I shared a graphic with the Boeing 737 deliveries per year per model since 1967 till 2018. In this post, I want to share a few graphics comparing the evolution of deliveries of the Boeing 737 family with the Airbus A320 family of aircraft.

737_vs_a320_family_deliveries_per_model_1967-2018

In the graphic you can see the tremendous growth in the past years. From the valley in 1995 (with 145 combined deliveries) till 2018 (with 1,206 combined deliveries) there has been a remarkable compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.6%. The greatest sellers: the 737-800 with 4,959 aircraft delivered through end of 2018 and the A320 with 4,700.

The first time that the combined deliveries surpassed the 200 airplanes was in 1989 (204 aircraft). In 1998, the combined figure surpassed the 400 (450 aircraft). In 2012 they reached more than 800 (870). In 2016, more than 1,000 combined deliveries (1,035), reaching 1,206 in 2018.

737_vs_a320_family_deliveries_1967-2018

The A320 family surpassed the 737 family in yearly deliveries for the first time in the year 2002, when 236 aircraft of the family were delivered (85 A319, 116 A320 and 35 A321) compared to 223 737s. Since then Airbus has taken the lead in the relative market share between both families, with the exception of 2015 (49.8% – 50.2% for Boeing; with 4 aircraft making the difference – 491 vs 495).

737_vs_a320_family_relative_share_1988-2018

The 737 was introduced in 1967, the A320 in 1988, 21 years later. The 737 led the market for another 14 years, increasing the gap in aircraft deliveries. Since then Airbus has been narrowing it: at the end of 2018 the gap was of 1,839 aircraft with 10,444 cumulative 737s delivered compared to 8,605 A320s.

737_vs_a320_family_cumulative_deliveries_1967-2018

 

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737 deliveries per year, 1967-2018

Two weeks ago, both Airbus and Boeing have released the figures of aircraft deliveries for the complete 2018: 800 and 806 airplanes, respectively, in what is a new industry record. This is just a quick post to share the graphic below with the evolution of 737 family deliveries per model since 1967 (year of its introduction) till 2018.

737 deliveries per year, 1967-2018

Through December 2018, up to 10,444 Boeing 737s have been delivered, making it the most successful commercial jet aircraft throughout history. In the graphic you can see the different generations: -100/-200 till the mid-80s, the -300/-400/-500 till the end of the 90s, the Next Gen in the 2000s and 2010s, until the introduction of the MAX a couple of years ago. With the steep ramp up in the recent years, it reached 580 deliveries in 2018.

However, it is worth noting that since 2002 Airbus A320 have delivered more aircraft in every single year with the exception of 2015. The 626 A320 deliveries in 2018 have meant a new industry record for commercial jet aircraft.

infographic-airbus-commercial-aircraft-orders-and-deliveries-2018

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Cumulative wide-body airplanes’ deliveries per model, 1969-2018

Last week, both Airbus and Boeing have released the figures of aircraft deliveries for the complete 2018: 800 and 806 airplanes, respectively, in what is a new industry record. In a previous post I showed the evolution commercial wide-body airplanes’ deliveries per year since 1969 (year of the introduction of the 747) till 2018. In this article, I wanted to show this other graphic with the evolution of the cumulative wide-body airplanes’ deliveries per model since 1969 until 2018.

cumulative wide-body airplanes' deliveries per model per year, 1969-2018

For the first time since 1969, the Boeing 747 is not the most built wide-body airplane in history, as in 2018 it was surpassed by the Boeing 777. At the end of the year cumulative deliveries stood at 1,548 and 1,582, respectively.

Diving into Boeing Commercial Airplanes site, we can see when that happened:

  • On March 20th, with the delivery of a 777-300ER (MSN 64989; LN 1548) to United Airlines (registration N2645U), the 777 programme matched the 1,543 cumulative deliveries that the 747 had achieved until then.
  • On March 22nd, with the delivery of another 777-300ER (MSN 64085; LN 1538) this time to Qatar Airways (registration A7-BEQ), the 777 programme surpassed the 747 programme deliveries, and established a new record with 1,544 cumulative deliveries. Since then, it has taken the lead until year end (1,582) and for the foreseeable near future.

boeing 777 surpasses 747 in cumulative deliveries

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Commercial wide-body airplanes’ deliveries per year, 1969-2018

This week, both Airbus and Boeing have released the figures of aircraft deliveries for the complete 2018: 800 and 806 airplanes, respectively, in what is a new industry record. This is just a quick post to update a graphic with the commercial wide-body airplanes’ deliveries per year since 1969 (year of the introduction of the 747) till 2018 (1).

commercial wide-body airplanes' deliveries per year, 1969-2018

Some reflections:

For the first time ever, in 2015 over 400 twin-aisle aircraft were delivered in a year (412), the same feat was achieved in 2016 (402). In 2017 and 2018 production descended below 400, down to 380 twin-aisles last year, still the fourth best year in the wide-body history.

The average number of deliveries for the previous 20-year period (1998-2017) was 249 airplanes per year. Up to now, in the 50 years of twin-aisle market (2), in only 7 years more than 300 airplanes were delivered in a single year, the seven last years, and only in other 9 years more than 200 airplanes had been delivered.

The combined steep production ramp-up during last years has enabled to reach a production rate of about the double of what was produced in 2010 (195). In particular, the combined compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the rate of deliveries for the last 10 years has been 7.6%. These rates are above the yearly growth of traffic (measured in RPKs).

With the figures up to the end of 2018, above 9,100 wide-body airplanes had been delivered. Thus, around the end of 2020 we will reach reach the 10,000th. However, we won’t know whether the 10,000th twin aisle will be a Boeing or an Airbus.

The share of wide-body deliveries in 2018: 59% Boeing and 41% Airbus.

There were 145 787s delivered in 2018, the largest amount of twin-aisle deliveries of a single model in a single year ever. A remarkable feat and new industry record for the wide body segment, beating its mark of 2016 (137). Only the 787 and the A330 have ever been delivered in excess of 100 aircraft in any given year; 4 times for the A330 (between 2012 and 2015) and the last 5 years in the case of the 787.

The deliveries of the 777 have been decreased by half in the past two years: from 99 in 2016 to 48 in 2018. This is similar output valley than what happened with the A330 when reaching the mark of ~ 2 years before targeted entry into service (EIS) of the new version, the A330neo: delivery decrease in 2016 for an 2018 EIS for the A330neo, and delivery decrease in 2018 for a 2020 Q2 target EIS for the 777X.

a330_b777_valleys

 

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(1) See here a previous post with the figures up to 2017.

(2) On February 9th, it will be the mark of the 50th anniversary of the 747 first flight.

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Boeing vs. Airbus: CEO compensation (2017)

For the last 4 years I have been writting a small series of posts comparing the compensation of Airbus and Boeing CEOs (1). This series started out of conversation with colleagues and I keep it updated to have a record of the evolution and for quick reference in other conversations (2). Thus, this post is just the update with the information for the 2017 fiscal year.

As both Boeing and Airbus are public companies, the information about their CEOs compensation is public and can be found in the annual report and proxy statement from each one. I just share the information and sources below for comparison and future reference.

Airbus CEO, Tom Enders’ 2017 compensation (financial statements here, PDF, 4.0 MB, page 58):

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Airbus CEO Tom Enders 2017 compensation.

Enders saw his base salary frozen in relation to 2016 at 1.5 M€. Variable pay decreased in 7.3%, post-employment benefit costs increased, etc. The main change in last year’s remuneration was the line “Termination benefits”, which in the notes it is explaiend as stipulated in 1.5 times the “Total Target Remuneration (defined as Base Salary and target Annual Variable Remuneration)”, as Enders announced that he will retire from the post when his current term expires in 2019. Thus, the overall compensation (9.1 M€increased.

Boeing CEO, Dennis Muilenburg’s 2017 compensation (2018 proxy statement here, PDF, 6.7 MB, page 30):

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Boeing’s CEO Dennis Muilenburg 2017 compensation.

Dennis Muilenburg saw his base salary increased in 50 k$. And with that all other incentive and other compensation concepts. The total compensation (18.45 M$) increased in relation to 2016 and has now raised above the 2014 levels (17.8 M$).

Comparison. It is interesting to note that while the base salary is nearly the same, 1.5 m€ vs 1.69 m$ (more so taking into account average exchange rates in 2017 (~ 1.13 USD/EUR)), the incentive schemes at Boeing end up with a total remuneration for the CEO about the double (x1.8) of that in Airbus.


(1) See the previous comparisons for the years 20132014, 2015 and 2016.

(2) From what I see in the stats of the visits to this blog, other people are having similar conversations as these posts with the compensation comparison have ranked among the top 10 most read ones the last years.

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Commercial wide-body airplanes’ deliveries per year, 1969-2017

In the last weeks, both Airbus and Boeing have released the figures of aircraft deliveries for the complete 2017. This is just a quick post to update a graphic with the commercial wide-body airplanes’ deliveries per year since 1969 (year of the introduction of the 747) till 2017 (1).

Commercial wide-body airplanes' deliveries per year, 1969-2017

Commercial wide-body airplanes’ deliveries per year, 1969-2017.

Some reflections:

For the first time ever, in 2015 over 400 twin-aisle aircraft were delivered in a year (412), the same feat was achieved in 2016 (402). In 2017 production descended to 394 twin-aisles, still the third best year in wide-body history.

The average number of deliveries for the previous 20-year period (1997-2016) was 239 airplanes per year. Up to now, in the 49 years of twin-aisle market, in only 6 years more than 300 airplanes were delivered in a single year, the six last years, and only in other 9 years more than 200 airplanes had been delivered.

The combined steep production ramp-up during last years has enabled to reach a production rate of more than the double of what was produced in 2010. In particular, the combined compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the rate of deliveries for the last 10 years has been 7.1%. These rates are above the yearly growth of traffic (measured in RPKs).

With the figures up to the end of 2017, nearly 8,800 wide-body airplanes had been delivered. Thus, by mid-2018, we will certainly reach the 9,000th. However, we won’t know whether the 9,000th twin aisle will be a Boeing or an Airbus.

The share of wide-body deliveries in 2017: 59% Boeing and 41% Airbus.

There were 136 787s delivered in 2017. A remarkable feat: one aircraft short of its 2016 record of 137 deliveries, the largest amount of twin-aisle deliveries of a single model in a single year ever. Only the 787 and the A330 have ever been delivered in excess of 100 aircraft in any given year (4 times for each aircraft).


(1) See here a previous post with the figures up to 2015.

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