Airbus Inks Single Contract for Four Aircraft in 2019

 - March 8, 2019, 2:09 PM

Airbus has started the year in quiet fashion as it recorded sales for just four narrowbodies in the first two months and logged cancellations for 103 jetliners, leaving it with a net order deficit of 99 aircraft.  Airbus booked no new order in January but clinched a deal with Pacific Ocean carrier Air Vanuatu in February for two A220-100s and two A220-300s.

Last month, following extensive negotiations incited by the Abu Dhabi-based flag carrier’s financial restructuring program, Etihad Airways reduced its outstanding order with Airbus for 62 A350s to 40 A350-900s and two A350-1000s while the bankruptcy of Germania forced the manufacturer to remove the failed airline’s 25 A320neos from its backlog. Airbus also formally removed the dormant orders for twenty A380s from lessor Amedeo and three of the type from Air Accord, the Bermuda-based company once due to take Transaero’s superjumbos. The Russian carrier ceased operations in October 2015.

Cancellations in January included eight A380s by Qantas and five A220-100s.

Airbus’s latest orders and deliveries overview does not yet record the widebody order changes from Emirates that prompted the OEM to discontinue the A380 program. Emirates last month canceled orders for 39 A380s and converted them to 40 A330-900s and 30 A350-900s.

In the first two months of the year, the European OEM handed over 88 aircraft, including 49 to 33 customers in February. Deliveries include three A220s, 69 A320 family aircraft—17 ceos and 52 neos—two A330s (though not one re-engine variant), and 14 A350s.

Airbus last month confirmed it will end production of the A380, though outgoing CEO Tom Enders on Friday indicated the company does not intend to pay back the outstanding loans it received from governments for the development of the aircraft. The EU governments agreed to back the program as part of a “risk partnership,” he told the Financial Times. “The fact is this is a risk partnership and these loans are based on the promise of the governments who are giving the loans that if the plane is not successful, they put money at risk,” he said.