By Rick Shideler
Airbus Deliveries Continue to Climb in June
Airbus, the European multinational aerospace company, provided the aviation industry some positive news with a strong month for commercial aircraft deliveries in June.
In a press release provided by the aircraft manufacturer, Airbus reported delivering 36 new aircraft in June. In previous months, deliveries were softer primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For May, Airbus delivered 24 aircraft and only 14 in April.
In the first six months of 2020, Airbus delivered 196 total aircraft, well short of its’ 2019 deliveries of 389 aircraft. But Airbus recorded 298 aircraft orders in the first half of this year, eclipsing last year’s order count of only 88 aircraft.
Airbus’ deliveries were split across several of its’ model aircraft. By aircraft type, a total of 11 A220s, 157 A320 Family, 5 A330s and 23 A350s were delivered in the first half of 2020.
While the delivery numbers lag 2019 performance, the acceptance of new aircraft by the airlines in 2020 is perhaps a positive sign that the airline industry is exiting the downturn associated with the pandemic. Also, as passengers return to the world’s skies, airlines will be eager to put their new fuel-efficient aircraft with increased customer amenities to draw their frequent flyers back to their cabins.
Airbus delivered only one A220-300 aircraft in June, to Air Canada, and an astonishing 31 new A320neo Family aircraft. Among them, China Express took delivery of its first A320neo and VivaAerobús took its first delivery for the A321neo.
Airbus’ widebody division recorded four A350-900 deliveries, two to Iberia, and one each for Air France and SAS.
Airbus’ backlog of aircraft yet to be delivered remains strong, As of June 30th, 2020, Airbus has committed to building 7,584 additional aircraft, consisting of 526 A220s, 6,168 A320 Family aircraft (including 6,108 A320neo Family), 321 A330s (including 286 A330neo Family), 560 A350 XWBs and nine A380s.
Airbus recently endured criticism from some of its customers when it threatened to take airlines to court who signaled they would not accept deliveries of new aircraft during the current downturn in flying. Such public threats are rare in commercial aviation circles but are seemingly becoming more prevalent from both Boeing and Airbus as they scramble to minimize their impact from the pandemic.
Boeing has not yet publicly reported its performance for the 2nd quarter but recently announced it will release its financial results for the quarter on Wednesday, July 29. Boeing’s performance is expected to be less favorable than Airbus’ as it continues to see order cancellations for aircraft, especially with its yet to be certified 737 MAX.