Airbus has delivered its 7,000th aircraft, an A321-200, to US Airways – which operates the largest fleet of Airbus aircraft in the world.

Airbus has delivered its 7,000th aircraft, an A321-200, to US Airways – which operates the largest fleet of Airbus aircraft in the world.

Delivery of the aircraft took place at the Airbus A321 and A319 assembly facility in Hamburg.

This milestone comes less than two years after the delivery of Airbus’ 6,000th aircraft, an achievement which Airbus says underlines the continued vibrancy of the commercial aviation sector.

The 1,000th Airbus delivery was an A340-300, which went to Air France in 1993, 19 years after the first Airbus aircraft was delivered. That first aircraft was an A300B2, also delivered to Air France, in 1974.

The 7,000th aircraft delivered by Airbus was an A321-200 for US Airways, the aircraft being handed over at AIrbus' facility in Hamburg on December 12, 2011. The aircraft commemorates its milestone status with a '7,000th Airbus' decal on its forward fuselage

Delivery number 2,000 was six years later, in 1999. It took half that time, just three years, to get to the 3,000th delivery in 2002 and three more years to reach 4,000 deliveries.

Airbus’ delivery tempo then increased, the company taking only two additional years of production before it handed over its 5,000th aircraft – an A330-200 to Qantas in December 2007. The 6,000th Airbus was an A380 which was delivered to Emirates in January 2010.

“It’s particularly fitting that our 7,000th aircraft is an A321 going to US Airways,”  said Tom Enders, Airbus president and CEO. “The airline not only operates the largest fleet of Airbus aircraft in the world; with over 220 A320-family aircraft flying in US Airways colors today, they also operate the largest fleet of our best-selling, eco-efficient A320 family.”

Enders added: “This milestone is a tribute to the hard work and commitment of Airbus teams around the world. We have improved efficiencies company-wide and this has enabled us to deliver record numbers of latest generation aircraft at continually increasing rates, with an environmental footprint ever decreasing.”

Less than two years after delivering its 6,000th aircraft, Airbus handed over its 7,000th commercial jet. The aircraft in question, an A321-200 for US Airways, was officially handed over to the U.S. carrier at Airbus' Hamburg facility on December 12, 2011 – a gray, rainy day in the North German city – for its delivery flight

“Airbus has been a long-term strategic partner to US Airways. Today we celebrate a significant milestone in Airbus’ history,” said  Doug Parker, US Airways’ chief executive officer. “It is an honor to be the recipient of their 7,000th delivery. On behalf of the 32,000 employees at US Airways, we applaud this tremendous accomplishment and look forward to a continued successful partnership.”

By the end of the year, US Airways will operate a fleet of 93 A319s, 72 A320s, 63 A321s and 16 A330s. The airline also has firm orders for an additional 58 A320-family aircraft, eight A330s and 22 A350 XWBs yet to be delivered.

More than 8,200 Airbus A320-family aircraft have already been ordered and more than 4,900 delivered to more than 340 customers and operators worldwide.