Phil’s proud to have helped Airbus achieve significant landmark as 10,000th A320 family jet is delivered
Airbus celebrated a significant landmark this week when the 10,000th A320 family jet was delivered.
Middle East Airlines (MEA) took delivery of an A321neo – manufacturer serial number 10,000.
MSN10,000 is the third A321neo to join the all-Airbus MEA fleet, taking the fleet size to 18 aircraft.
MEA received its first A321neo aircraft earlier in 2020 and will be taking another six A321neos over the coming months.
Phil Williams, from Hawarden, worked in a mayonnaise factory before joining Airbus almost 20 years ago and becoming a key ingredient in the manufacturing process.
Working first in bolting, the 53-year-old has occupied a number of roles on the factory floor in Broughton and currently handles sealing on the bottom wing cover, or ‘skin’.
He said: “I remember when I first started being amazed at the size of the factory and how different it was from what I’d imagined.
I was trained up on bolting the gear rib and shroud box area and aft of the rear spar.”
While the process is essentially the same as it was when he arrived, Phil said changing technology and improved health and safety have been the biggest changes in his time with the programme.
“There is far more attention to the work environment now, safety barriers are much more prominent and there’s more automation,” he said.
Phil also says there was a collective sense of pride among the workforce, especially as many were born and raised locally.
He added that he enjoys working on such a well-known and successful aircraft and takes great pride in having achieved such a significant landmark.
“When I fly I’ll always say to myself, ‘I probably put the sealant on this one!’ When they told us it had reached 10,000 it didn’t really sink in at first but then you realise how many that is and it’s amazing.”
MEA took on MSN5,000 in 2012, after 23 years of Airbus A320 Family production.
The next 5,000 took just another eight years to mark this significant MSN10,000 milestone – again with MEA.
The handover of the aircraft took place in Toulouse in the presence of Mohamad El-Hout, Chairman and Director General of MEA. He said:
“We are honoured to receive the state of the art A321neo with its distinctive serial number 10,000 coinciding with the 75th anniversary of Middle East Airlines and specially after receiving MSN5,000 back in 2012.
Since we first acquired an A320 Family aircraft in 2003, we have not only benefited from the outstanding operational efficiency of the aircraft but were also the first airline to introduce the wide-body cabin product on a single-aisle aircraft which has become a trend in the airline industry afterwards.”
“Unfortunately, due to the current situation in Lebanon, this time we will not be able to celebrate the delivery of the MSN10,000 in Beirut, as we did with the MSN5,000, but I am sure that in these challenging circumstances, it is a ray of light, hope and motivation to surpass our nation’s difficulties.”
Airbus delivered 57 commercial aircraft in September 2020 versus 71 aircraft over the same period in 2019.
Year to date, Airbus has delivered a total of 341 aircraft (18 A220s, 282 A320 Family, 9 A330s and 32 A350s), which is a reduction of around 40% compared to the same period in 2019.
In the first three quarters of 2020, Airbus booked a total of 300 net commercial aircraft orders compared with 127 net orders in the equivalent 2019 period.
Airbus backlog stands at 7,441 aircraft compared to 7,133 at the same point in time last year.
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