Aerospace giant Airbus increased plane production for the ninth year in a row in 2010 and also clocked up a new company record of aircraft deliveries.
The European group, which has its main UK engineering plant at Filton employing around 4,000 people, delivered 510 commercial aircraft to 94 customers last year – up from 498 in 2009.
Orders received during the year included 452 of its A320 single-aisle family aircraft, 160 long-haul A330/A340/A350 XWB aircraft, and 32 for its A380 superjumbo – the world’s largest commercial airliner.
At year end, Airbus’ commercial order book backlog was 3,552 aircraft valued at more than $480 billion (£300bn) at list prices, the equivalent of six years’ full production. It also had a military backlog of 247 aircraft.
Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders said: “2010 was a good year, in fact better than expected 12 months ago. The market rebound and improved programme performance has been particularly encouraging. However, with plenty of challenges, especially in our development programmes, we’ll have to work hard to further improve and also make 2011 a successful year for Airbus.”
The Filton plant, which designs wings for all Airbus aircraft as well as the fuel system and landing gear for the A380, is heavily involved in developing the group’s latest model – the A320neo (new engine option) – as well as designing wing parts for the yet-to-fly A350 XWB.