Airbus Net Order Tally Drops, YTD Deliveries Climb

 - August 9, 2019, 12:38 PM

The formal removal, though long anticipated, of an order by Republic Airways for 40 A220-300s from Airbus’s backlog and the cancellation of a purchase of two A350-900s knocked the European manufacturer's net order count to 79 airplanes at the end of July, down from 88 units a month earlier.

Airbus logged orders for 246 jetliners composed of 173 single-aisle aircraft, 10 A330neos, and 63 A350 XWBs in the first seven months of 2019, according to data released Thursday. However, it booked cancellations for a total of 167 aircraft, leaving it with a net order tally year-to-date of just 79 aircraft. This compares to net orders for 214 aircraft logged by Airbus during the first seven months of 2018.

Republic, a U.S. regional capacity provider for United, American Airlines, and Delta, was one of the first buyers of Bombardier’s CS300 in 2010. The Canadian OEM removed Republic from the C Series—which is under Airbus control since July 2018—production schedule in 2016 after the airline filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The order remained doubtful even after Republic emerged from Chapter 11 due to the operator’s strong commitment to the Embraer E170 and E175 jets; it is the world’s largest E-Jet operator with nearly 200 aircraft. 

Airbus inked firm contracts for 17 A220-300s and two of the smaller -100 in the first seven months of the year, though it listed cancellation for 40 and five examples, respectively. The performance leaves the European OEM with a net order deficit of 26 A220s for the year so far. 

In July, Airbus logged orders for 33 commercial jetliners led by Air China’s acquisition of 20 A350-900s. Virgin Atlantic firmed an agreement for eight A330-900s announced at the Paris Air Show in June and Dubai Aerospace Enterprise acquired two A350-900s. Single-aisle orders in July involved a pair of A320neos for Spain’s Iberia and one ACJ319 business jet for a private customer. This low sales count contrasts sharply with June when Airbus signed firm contracts for 145 narrowbodies.

Airbus delivered 69 aircraft in July to 41 customers. The bulk of the shipments—52 units—involved single-aisle A320 family jetliners. Sixty-nine shipments mark the lowest delivery rate since March when Airbus handed over 74 aircraft. Consequent delivery rates stood at 70 in April, 81 in May, and 76 in June.

The airframer delivered 458 commercial aircraft in the first seven months, versus 378 in the year-ago period.  Airbus targets to deliver between 880 and 890 units this year.