In the beginning of December, Germany’s Luftwaffe received its 36th Airbus A400M in Wunstorf. The German air force, which had ordered 53 numbers of the aircraft, is the largest user of the turboprop transporter.
While Airbus has big plans for the A400M, the transport aircraft has acquired a reputation for defects and breakdowns. Towards the end of 2019, the German Bundeswehr had initially refused to accept two newly built aircrafts citing loose screws; in a statement the Luftwaffe had said the two aircraft did not meet the “contractually guaranteed properties.”
Much waters have flown under the bridge since then. The aircraft has been in service with Lufttransportgeschwader 62 in Wunstorf, along with three other A400Ms. Currently the Luftwaffe has 36 A400Ms stationed at Wunstorf. Of the 53 A400Ms ordered by Germany, 40 are stationed at Wunstorf, the balance are stationing at Lechfeld, near Augsburg as part of the new international air transport association Multinational Air Transport Unit (MNAU).
According to Ioannis Papachristofilou, who is responsible for sales of the A400M in Europe and Canada at Airbus Defense & Space, “It was a solid year for the A400M”.
This year, Airbus has mitigated many of the teething problems facing the aircraft and has even expanded its capabilities. The ease of maintenance of the aircraft has also been improved.
“That does not go unnoticed on the market,” said Papachristofilou while emphasizing that many potential customers are interested in the A400M.
Without going into any further details, Papachristofilou said, “The A400M is right at the top of the agenda in our worldwide sales efforts.”
The transport aircraft has already completed more than 85,000 flight hours, said Papachristofilou.
As of date, Airbus has delivered 95 A400Ms, and is servicing 7 countries including, France, Germany, Spain, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Turkey, and Malaysia.
Belgium will soon become the eighth country to use the aircraft. It has ordered 7 of them with deliveries scheduled before the end of this year.