Airbus SAS – Company Information

Airbus SAS is a subsidiary of Airbus Group that focuses on aircraft manufacturing.

Airbus was originally a consortium of various different aviation companies in Europe (such as France’s Sud Aviation and the British Aircraft Corporation).

The idea of Airbus stems from a meeting in July, 1967, where ministers from France, Germany and Britain agreed “for the purpose of strengthening European co-operation in the field of aviation technology and thereby promoting economic and technological progress in Europe, to take appropriate measures for the joint development and production of an airbus.”

The three countries basically decided to create Airbus because Europe was significantly trailing behind America in the aircraft industry.

In 1969 the French transport minister Jean Chamant came to an agreement with German economics minister Karl Schiller to launch the world’s first twin-engine **widebody passenger jet, the A300.

** A widebody aircraft has two passenger aisles, whilst a narrow-body aircraft has just one aisle.

Airbus Industrie was formally established as a Groupement d’Interet Économique (Economic Interest Group or GIE) in 1970.

The first production model of the A300 entered service in 1974 and the consortium had 256 orders for model by 1979.

The A300 was a success, although Airbus did not really make a big presence in the aircraft industry until it launched the A320 model in 1981.

There were four partners that jointly manufactured the aircrafts. British Aerospace producing the wings, Daimler-Benz Aerospace produced the fuselage, Spain’s Construcciones Aeronauticas SA produced parts of the tail, and France’s Aerospatiale produced the cockpits and assembled the aircrafts.

In 1996 the CEO of Airbus, Jean Pierson, strongly believed that Airbus ought to be established as a conventional company, as opposed to a GIE.

However it was not until 2000 that a new integrated company, called Airbus SAS (Societé par Actions Simplifieé) began operations, with The Airbus Group as its parent company. The Airbus Group was created following a merger between Aérospatiale-Matra, Daimler Chrysler Aerospace AG (DASA), and Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA (CASA).

Products and Services

Airbus SAS has a wide range of jetliners, from its 107-seat single-aisle A318 to the double-deck A380 wide-body – which is currently the biggest commercial aircraft in service.

Passenger aircraft: A320, A330, A340, A350 XWB & A380 families

Corporate jets: ACJ318, ACJ319, ACJ320 and ACJ321

Freighter aircraft: The A330-200F, A330P2F, Beluga

Military aircraft: C212, CN235, C295, A330 MRTT, A400M


  • CEO: Rickard Gustafson
  • Industry: Aerospace
  • Type: Subsidiary
  • Founded: 2001 (as Airbus SAS)
  • Parent company: Airbus Group
  • Revenue: €60.713 billion EUR (2014)
  • Profit for the period: €2,350 million EUR (2014)
  • Headquarters: Toulouse, France
  • Employees: 138,622 (2014)
  • Founders: Bernard Lathière, Roger Béteille, and Henri Ziegler.

Airbus SAS Financial Results, Years Ended December 31

Operating data (in € millions) 2014 2013
Revenue €60,713 €57,567
Cost of sales €(51,776) €(49,613)
Gross Margin €8,937 €7,954
Selling expenses €(1,063) €(1,140)
Administrative expenses €(1,538) €(1,622)
Research and development expenses €(3,391) €(3,118)
Profit before finance costs and income taxes €3,991 €2,570
Interest income €142 €161
Interest expense €(462) €(493)
Total finance costs €(778) €(610)
Income taxes €(863) €(477)
Profit for the period €2,350 €1,483
Total comprehensive income of the period €(3,374) €2,831
Common share data (in )
Basic earnings per share €2.99 €1.86
Diluted earnings per share €2.99 €1.85
Balance sheet data (in  millions)
Total assets €96,102 €90,274
Total liabilities €89,023 €79,368
Total equity €7,079 €10,906
Cash flow data (in  millions)
Cash provided by operating activities €2,560 €1,829
Cash (used for) investing activities €(3,223) €(1,612)
Cash (used for) financing activities €495 €(1,080)
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year €7,201 €8,171
Cash and cash equivalents at end of year €7,289 €7,201

Source: “Airbus SAS Financial Statements 2014”