Airbus SAS is an aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of EADS, a European aerospace company. Based in Toulouse, France, and with significant activity across Europe, the company produces around half of the world's jet airliners.
Airbus began as a consortium of aerospace manufacturers. Consolidation of European defence and aerospace companies around the turn of the century allowed the establishment of a simplified joint stock company in 2001, owned by EADS (80%) and BAE Systems (20%). After a protracted sales process BAE sold its shareholding to EADS on 13 October 2006.
Airbus employs around 57,000 people at sixteen sites in four European Union countries: Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Spain. Final assembly production is at Toulouse (France), Hamburg (Germany), Seville (Spain) and, since 2009, Tianjin (China). Airbus has subsidiaries in the United States, Japan and China.