Airbus Cleared for Take-off with DHL

Aircraft manufacturer taps logistics provider to optimize the assembly line, maintenance systems for the new "superjumbo" A380

Paris, FRANCE — February 7, 2005 — Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has tapped logistics and express delivery company DHL to provide spare parts logistics services at three facilities in France.

DHL has been developing and implementing a logistics solution for Airbus since the end of 2004 with the goal of optimizing the supply of spare parts to the Airbus A380 production line and to their airline customers for maintenance of the entire Airbus fleet.

At Airbus's J.L. Lagardère Assembly Plant, DHL is lending its logistics expertise to the assembly process of the world's largest passenger aircraft. The Airbus A380 "superjumbo" aircraft stands nearly 80-feet tall, has a wingspan nearly 262-feet long, and seats 555 passengers on its twin deck, three class model.

An on-site team of 20 is responsible for maintaining the inventory of incoming manufacturing equipment and other parts used for the assembly of the new Airbus A380. Parts for the A380 are subsequently routed by DHL Solutions to the appropriate workstations or Airbus engineers throughout the assembly plant.

Elisabeth Philipps, head of industrial market development at DHL Solutions, the DHL division that provides contract and logistics solutions, including consulting, supply chain design, storage, sales logistics, production and order management, commented on the partnership between DHL and Airbus. "The DHL team is present alongside the A380 production line to ensure that the necessary parts, which can sometimes include complete sections of aircraft fuselage, are routed to the appropriate location as rapidly as possible," she said. "DHL Solutions has expertise in on-site logistics management for customers in the aeronautics industry, including TRW, Delphi, Air France Industries, Renault and Valeo."

Over the next two years, DHL is poised to shift its activities in response to the evolving construction and delivery requirements of the A380. The first flight of the world's largest passenger aircraft is scheduled to take place in early 2005, with deliveries expected to begin in 2006.

DHL has also established a nearly 5,400 square foot DHL Solutions Center within Airbus's aircraft wing strut assembly plant at Saint Eloi, Toulouse. DHL controls the incoming inventory of materials, wing strut parts and other equipment, for distribution to subcontractors or other Airbus facilities as needed for assembly and maintenance of the entire Airbus fleet.

DHL is also coordinating the distribution of maintenance kits, including all of the items required for specific aircraft modifications, as well as spare parts delivered individually for repairs of all Airbus aircraft. More than 32,000 square feet within the DHL Solutions "Eurocentre" warehouse facility at Saint Jory, Toulouse, have been dedicated exclusively to Airbus inventory. Here, the DHL team oversees the preparation of shipments, which are then subsequently dispatched to airline customers worldwide to be used for Airbus fleet repairs. DHL delivers the kits and spare parts to customers within four to 48 hours, depending on the location and level of urgency identified by the customer request.

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