Airbus is a European international aerospace and defence company that designs, manufactures and delivers commercial aircraft and helicopters, as well as space and defence solutions and products. The French, German and Spanish governments currently hold 26.4% of the shares between them through state holding companies, and the remaining 73.6% of shares are freely floated.
The UK was a founding member of the Airbus consortium, and the company is the largest commercial aerospace company in Britain. Each year Airbus spends over £5 billion with UK suppliers. The UK supply chain comprises more than 4,000 companies, from Rolls-Royce and GKN to hundreds of SME suppliers. So Airbus is a key player in Britain.
Although Airbus is better known for its commercial aircraft, it’s also a global leader in the defence sector. It’s the biggest defence supplier in Europe, and among the top 10 defence companies worldwide. It’s also the biggest supplier of large aircraft to the Royal Air Force. Airbus is the no. 3 company worldwide in secure communication platforms, delivering innovative digital services for defence and cyber security applications.
Dr Thomas Enders has been Chief Executive Officer of Airbus since 2012, having previously served as CEO of the Airbus Commercial Aircraft Division. He’s been a member of the Executive Committee of Airbus SE since its creation in 2000.
Other key figures at Airbus include Fabrice Brégier, Chief Operating Officer of Airbus and President Airbus Commercial Aircraft; Dirk Hoke, Chief Executive Officer Airbus Defence and Space; and Tom Williams, Chief Operating Officer Airbus Commercial Aircraft. Denis Ranque is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Airbus.
Airbus Industrie started out in 1970 as a consortium of European aviation companies – the aim being to compete with US giants such as Boeing, Lockheed and McDonnell Douglas. Various complex corporate restructurings took place over the ensuing decades.
One key trend was discernible over the first 20 years of its existence: whereas in the early years of Airbus the governments of member countries provided financial aid for the research and development of new aircraft, by 1989 Airbus projects were financed entirely by internally generated cash flow and external commercial sources.
The Airbus A320neo was launched in December 2010 and has become the fastest selling commercial airliner ever. Its many innovations, including two engine choices and standard Sharklet wingtip devices, generate fuel savings of up to 20%. However, problems with the A320neo engines received a lot of media attention in early 2018.
So it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for the company. On the positive side, Airbus achieved record airliner deliveries in 2017, but the company had to grapple with management upheaval, government probes into potential misconduct, and problems with its high-profile A400M military transport plane programme.
You can follow the ups and downs of the Airbus share price at Capital.com. Take a look at the AIR chart to see how the stock has been performing.
Airbus’s main civil aeroplane business is based in Toulouse, France, but the company's aircraft and helicopter divisions operate assembly lines across Europe, Asia and the Americas. Overall, Airbus has a presence in 180 locations globally and cooperates with 12,000 direct suppliers. The company employs approximately 134,000 staff members.
Airbus shares are traded on the Euronext Paris, the Madrid and Frankfurt Stock Exchanges. Airbus is a component of the CAC 40 and Euro Stoxx 50 indices. Check out Capital.com for the latest AIR chart.
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