Having a huge backlog is one thing to be happy about, but getting them built to meet passengers’ requirements is becoming a headache for Airbus.
In September, Airbus delivered 55 aircraft to 31 customers and put 13 commitments into the order book. According to its September 30th report, Airbus has delivered 437 aircraft to 66 customers this year, an average of close to 49 per month.
Airbus did manage to reduce its backlog by 45 in September, but it still sits at a very healthy 7,294 aircraft waiting to be built and delivered. The backlog is dominated by the A321neo, with every second plane in the backlog being an A321neo variant. There are orders for 2,331 A320neos in backlog, accounting for 32% of the total, followed by the A220 (7%), the A350 (6%), and the A330 (3%). The balance comprises orders for the A319neo, as well as some yet-to-be-removed lines for the A320/321ceo.
With so many aircraft in backlog, pressure is building on Airbus to increase its production rate. In a recent capital markets briefing, Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury recommitted to delivering 700 aircraft in 2022, despite battling engine and supply chain problems. It’s not uncommon to see many deliveries made in the final sprint to the end of the year, but with only 437 airplanes delivered at the end of September, Airbus has a huge fourth quarter to get through.
Based on its reporting, Airbus has to deliver 263 aircraft in the next three months, an average of 88 per month compared to the 49 per month (on average) it has delivered so far in 2022. London’s Financial Times reported that Faury told the September briefing:
Airbus chief financial officer Dominik Asam said
The statement also stated that Airbus chief financial officer Dominik Asam stated Airbus was “fully engaged” to deliver on its targets. He said a touch of realism by telling, “delivering approximately 700 aircraft in 2022 is anything but a walk in the park.” In July, Airbus cut its original forecast from 720 to “around 700” and told it was raising monthly production rates of A320-family aircraft for this year and next.
The ultimate goal is to produce 75 A320s a month by 2025, which Faury reiterated during the briefing. It currently makes around 50 jets a month and forecasts it will get to a monthly rate of 65 in early 2024, 6 months later than previously indicated.
In September, there were 13 aircraft ordered, comprising eleven A320-family and 2 A330-900s. China’s Sichuan Airlines ordered three A320neos and three A321neos, and a private buyer ordered an A320neo, with the orders for the 2 A330-900s and 4 A321neos placed by undisclosed buyers. In Aug, Airbus said it had not received any orders. On a month-on-month basis, deliveries rose by 40% compared to Aug, with 55 airplanes finding new homes.
Turkish Airlines and China Eastern Airlines
Airbus delivered 23 A320neos, 18 A321neos, five A330neos, four A350s, 4 A220s, and one A319neo, which joined the fleet of Tibet Airlines.
Turkish Airlines and China Eastern Airlines – each received 4 A320neos via lessors, while Delta Air Lines took 2 A321neos, one A330neo, and one A220. Jazeera Airways and Spirit Airlines got hold of 2 A320neos, and Pegasus Airlines and Aegean each received 2 A321neos.
The balance was mainly single-aircraft deliveries to 23 airlines, some of which arrived from lessor portfolios.