With orders for 58 jetliners in March, Airbus performed markedly better than in the first two months of the year, when it inked firm contracts for just four narrowbodies. However, its total orders for 62 aircraft still did not overtake total cancellations, which rose from 103 jetliners at the end of February to 120 aircraft at the end of March. The performance leaves the European OEM with a net order deficit of 58 aircraft in the first quarter, according to data released Thursday. Airbus’s net order deficit at the end of February stood at 99 aircraft.
The bulk of the new orders in March consisted of A350s. Lufthansa Group agreed to buy 20 additional A350-900s, bringing its total A350 order count to 45, while new Airbus customer Starlux Airlines of Taiwan signed a firm order for 12 A350-1000s and five shorter-fuselage A350-900s. The airline plans to deploy the aircraft on its premier long-haul services from Taipei to Europe and North America, as well as to selected destinations within the Asia-Pacific region. Airbus also won an order for one A350-900 from a private customer.
The one single-aisle transaction in March involved 20 A320neo jetliners for an undisclosed customer. Airbus did not record new sales for its A330 family of aircraft nor for its smallest narrowbody, the A220.
Airbus’s latest orders and deliveries overview still does not record the widebody order changes from Emirates that prompted the OEM to discontinue the A380 program. Emirates earlier in February canceled orders for 39 A380s and converted them to positions on 40 A330-900s and 30 A350-900s.
In March, Airbus handed over 74 aircraft to 40 customers, up from 49 jetliners to 33 customers in February and 39 units in January. Deliveries last month included 57 A320 family aircraft—13 ceos and 44 neos—along with eight A350-900s/A350-1000s, five A220s, three A330neos, and one A380, to All Nippon Airways.