Friday’s announcement that it had it finalized an agreement inked at the Farnborough air show in July to sell 75 A320neo and 25 A321neos to Dublin-headquartered aircraft lessor Avolon provides a welcome boost for Airbus’s 2018 order book, but it looks like the European airframer might not end the year in beauty.
Airbus remains far from its own target to deliver around 800 aircraft this year while the number of net orders through November totals just over a third of the total net orders it took in in 2017.
Airbus sold 438 aircraft in the January-November time frame though it absorbed 59 cancellations, including for 22 A350-900s and six A380s, resulting in net orders for the first 11 months for 380 aircraft: 301 single-aisle jetliners (290 A319/A320/A321neo and 11 versions) and 79 widebody aircraft (22 A330neo and seven A330ceo jetliners, along with 36 A350 XWBs and 14 A380s). So far, it has not logged an order for A220s. In 2017, Airbus secured net orders for 1,109 airplanes from 44 customers.
The company handed over 673 aircraft to customers between January and November. Deliveries include several “firsts,” such as the initial handover of an A330neo version, an A330-900 to TAP Air Portugal, and the first A321LR to Arkia Israeli Airlines, making it the launch operator for the type. However, if Airbus wants to reach its delivery target, the company will have to ship 127 aircraft this month, or on average four aircraft a day. Last year, Airbus’s commercial aircraft deliveries increased for the 15th year in a row, reaching a new company record of 718 aircraft delivered to 85 customers.
Avalon’s new order for 100 narrowbody Neos takes the lessors’ cumulative orders with Airbus to 284 aircraft (240 single-aisles and 44 widebody aircraft) and increases its Airbus backlog to 258, the largest of any leasing company.