Multibillion-pound boost for Airbus wing-making plant

The Airbus wing-making plant near Chester has seen its work schedule boosted with a significant new order.

Dublin-based aircraft lessor SMBC Aviation Capital has ordered a further 60 A320neo family aircraft taking its total for the type to nearly 340 aircraft purchased directly from Airbus, which employs more than 4,500 staff at its Broughton plant where wings for all its commercial aircraft are built.

Together with its existing orders for the A320neo family, this new one ensures SMBC Aviation Capital will have a continuous delivery stream to beyond the end of the decade, deepening Airbus and SMBC Aviation Capital’s long standing strategic partnership on the A320neo family programme.

Peter Barrett, SMBC Aviation Capital CEO, said: “This transaction is further testament of sustained global demand for technologically advanced, fuel-efficient aircraft, and comes amidst the continuing strong recovery in air travel worldwide.

“With sustainability and operational efficiency remaining key priorities for our customers, we anticipate even greater demand for aircraft such as the A320neo and the A321neo in the years ahead. We look forward to strengthening our valued partnership with Airbus as we help our customers navigate these priorities.”

Christian Scherer, chief commercial officer and head of Airbus International, said: “SMBC Aviation Capital’s latest decision to reinvest for the long term in the A320neo family shows a great confidence and commitment to what is, and is continuing to be, the most successful aircraft programme ever.

“As one of the world’s leading aircraft lessors, SMBC Aviation Capital is committing to its sustainable aviation roadmap through the world’s most efficient single aisle products. We very much appreciate our working relationship with SMBC and thank them sincerely for their continued confidence. ”

The A320neo family incorporates the latest technologies including new generation engines, Sharklets and cabin efficiency enablers, which, together, deliver 20% fuel savings by 2020.

With more than 6,500 orders received from in excess of 100 customers since its launch in 2010, the A320neo family has captured some 60% share of the market.