Airbus Begins Offering Contactless Aircraft Delivery

With nations around the world in lockdown, everyone is keen to stay home. Traveling far away to pick up your new aircraft is probably not considered an essential journey, and that’s a problem for both airline customers and the manufacturer too. To solve this issue, Airbus has come up with a new way of delivering its aircraft without requiring personal contact.

A350-900 Aeroflot Delivery
No more glitzy delivery ceremonies now, but Airbus will make sure you can still pick up your plane. Photo: Airbus

No need to visit Airbus to get your plane

In a bid to tackle the spread of COVID-19, Airbus is offering a new way for its customers to take delivery of their aircraft. With a large part of the world in lockdown, it’s not easy (or necessarily safe) to be traveling halfway around the world to pick up a plane.

As such, the manufacturer has introduced a process it calls “e-Delivery,” where all the usual parts of an aircraft sale are conducted without anyone needing to travel. This will, it hopes, make aircraft acceptance possible in a socially distant way, something that will benefit both Airbus and its customers during the COVID-19 crisis.

In an update provided to Simple Flying, Airbus said,

“As well as affording a means of safe business continuity during the current COVID-19 crisis, the e-Delivery process, especially its new collaborative digital aspects – which confer enhanced workflow efficiencies, flexibility, transparency, plus a more environmentally-friendly and smoother overall customer experience – could become the blueprint for Airbus and its customers going forward.”

Already one Airbus customer has taken the plunge with the new contactless delivery. Pegasus Airlines has received three e-Delivered A320neo in the last few days, and Airbus expects more airlines to follow soon.

Pegasus A321neo
Pegasus Airlines has had three new A320neos e-delivered. Photo: Airbus

How does an e-delivery work?

You would think that, of all the things on planet Earth, an aircraft would be the last thing you could have electronically delivered. However, Airbus has developed a process by which its customers can ‘take delivery’ of their new aircraft without leaving the comfort of their own home.

The process, Airbus says, takes place in three stages.

  1. The first stage is the Technical Acceptance Completion (TAC). Usually, this would involve the customer taking a good look around the plane, kicking the tires, and even taking it for a spin (or more correctly, an acceptance flight) to make sure everything is OK. Airbus says that this part of the process can be delegated, either to themselves or to a local third party appointed by the airline.
  2. The next stage is the Transfer of Title (ToT). For this part, Airbus has developed a new secure collaborative platform, known as “e-SalesContracts.” This software brings Airbus, its customers, and other key parties together to undertake all the contractual transactions. This means no team member needs to travel to Airbus offices to complete the sale.
  3. The final part of the delivery process is the aircraft traveling to its new owner. Airbus says the new ferry flight procedure will be conducted in the safest possible manner. Airlines can either send their own crew or an appointed third party to collect the sanitized aircraft and fly it back to its home base.
Pegasus A321neo
Pegasus allowed Airbus to undertake the customer acceptance process. Photo: Airbus

It’s certainly taken the donkey work out of the aircraft delivery process, and has made it possible to issue aircraft to Airbus customers without the need for travel. For Airbus, this is some great out of the box thinking and could change the way aircraft deliveries are done for good.

What do you make of the contactless delivery process? Let us know in the comments.