Plane types: Airbus

Did you know that an Airbus aircraft takes off somewhere in the world every minute? Well, now you know. Airbus is an airplane manufacturing company started in 1970 by Europeans to compete with American airplane manufacturing companies such as Boeing. It employs over 52,000 people in countries such as France, Spain, Germany, and United Kingdom. Airbus develops a range of passenger aircrafts, which it categorizes into families. These families include the Airbus A320 Family, Airbus A330 Family, Airbus A340 Family, and, the largest airplane built, the Airbus A380 Family.

Airbus A320 Family

The Airbus A320 Family is made up of the A318, A319, A320, and A321 aircraft. The Airbus A320 Family is used widely. It is used on both short and long distance air travels to transport both passengers and cargo. According to the Airbus website, over 8000 A320 aircraft orders have been received by 2013. Consequently, this high number of orders has seen Airbus make many improvements on the aircraft. Some of the most prevalent improvements include reducing fuel consumption, increasing mile range, reducing engine noise, reducing emissions, and improving onboard technology. Examples of airline operators that use the Airbus A320 Family include United, JetBlue, Delta, Air France, Air Canada, and Virgin America.

Airbus A330 Family

The Airbus A330 Family is composed of the A330-200, A330-300, A330-200F, ACJ330, and A330 MRTT. The most rampant feature that the Airbus A330 Family is it’s twin-engine feature. Additionally, it can carry 335 passengers or 70 tons of cargo. Continuous advancements have seen this family of Airbus planes lower its fuel consumption, its operating costs, and its emissions. According to Airbus, the A330 aircraft had accumulated over 120 million flight hours as of mid 2013. By 2013, there were over 1000 aircraft in operation around the world. Examples of operators using the Airbus A330 aircraft include Air China, Brussels Airlines, Emirates Airlines, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, and South African Airways.

Airbus A340 Family

The Airbus A340 Family, which is primarily a wide body jetliner, includes four types of commercial planes: namely the A340-200, the A340-300, the A340-500, and the A340-600. This family of plane can carry anywhere between 250 to 360 passengers. Additionally it has two more engines compared to the Airbus A330 Family. As of March 2013, Airbus reports that it had delivered over 400 A340 airplanes to its customers and operators. Examples of these customers and operators include Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Airbus A380 Family

Introduced in 2007, the Airbus A380 has been the largest airplane ever built. It is a double decker airplane with a capacity to ferry up to 525 passengers in a three-class configuration. Additionally, it is also capable of ferrying 850 passengers in a single-class configuration. According to Airbus, the A380 is more profitable compared to other airplanes since operators are able to increase their capacity by around 20% at no extra cost. As of March 2013, Airbus had received over 300 orders for the Airbus A380 and had delivered 100 airlines to its customers. Examples of these customers include Virgin Atlantic, Air France, Emirates, Korean Air, and Qantas.
Airbus is a leading aircraft manufacturer given the numbers. As of March 2013, Airbus had over 10,000 orders for aircraft and had already delivered 8000 planes to its customers and operators.