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  • Writer's pictureGavin Ang


(Photo by Airbus SAS)

On December 17th, on a cold wintery night at Hamburg, Germany, an A380, bearing the livery of the acclaimed international carrier Emirates, taxis out onto the runway. Parallel to the runway, a line of aviation spotters, photographers and videographers line in wait in the darkening sky. The aircraft’s registration is A6-EVS, it’s the 123rd A380 delivered to Emirates, and the very last of its kind to roll off the Airbus production line. December 2021 will forever mark the conclusion of the A380 production, the largest passenger plane to grace the skies. And yet, this month also marks a major windfall for the Airbus’ sales team, as major deals were secured with several major airlines.

(Photo by Airbus SAS)

Singapore Airlines

On 15 December, Singapore Airlines confirmed that they will be purchasing 7 A350Fs to replace their ageing Boeing 747-400F fleet, with options for an additional 5 more, out bidding the Boeing 777F and 747-8F.


On 16th December, Qantas announced that they will be purchasing Airbus narrow-bodies to replace their ageing Boeing 737 and Boeing 717 fleets, thereby converting into an all-Airbus narrow-body fleet in the future. These purchases include:

  • Firm commitment for 20 Airbus A321XLRs to replace the Boeing 737s

  • Firm commitment for 20 Airbus A220-300s to replace the Boeing 717s

  • Soft commitment for 94 additional Airbus aircrafts including the A320neos and the A220-100s

(Photo by Airbus SAS)

Combined with Jetstar’s existing commitment for more than 100 Airbus A320neos, this agreement rakes up as the largest aviation order in Australia’s history. This will also mark a major shift in Qantas’ fleet towards Airbus, with her current fleet of 28 A330s and 12 A380s, and after 2023. Only her 11 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners will remain as the only Boeings in her fleet.

Air France-KLM

A day later after Qantas announced their Airbus purchases, Air France-KLM confirmed their intention to purchase 100 A320neos family aircraft, with purchase rights for an additional 94 more. These planes are confirmed to be replacing the existing Boeing 737s used in KLM’s and Transavia’s fleets. These orders join the 60 A220-300s ordered by Air France in 2019.

(Photo by Airbus SAS)

In addition, Air France-KLM confirmed that they will also be purchasing 4 A350Fs, with options for an additional 4 more.

(Photo by Airbus SAS)

Indeed, December 2021 looks to be a good year for Airbus, bagging 151 confirmed orders and 197 options from 4 major airlines. As for their rival, Boeing, it is looking to be an unfortunate year for them, losing Qantas and KLM as their major customers for their Boeing 737 programs. However, as Boeing works on their Boeing 797 New Mid-sized Airplane Programme, it could rope more customers in the coming future by bridging the middle-market segment for both regional and long-haul travel.


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