Singapore Air Show

Airbus January Orders Surge, Deliveries Sag

 - February 9, 2020, 3:18 AM

Airbus logged net orders in January for 274 commercial aircraft from its A220, A320, and A350 XWB product lines in activity that included two new customers for the A220, additional market traction for the A320/A321, and further endorsements for the A350 XWB with repeat orders from two customers. The company delivered 31 airplanes during the month from the A220, A320, A330, and A350 XWB aircraft families.

A firm order by Spirit Airlines of the U.S. for 100 A320neo-family jets marked the closure of one of two major single-aisle contracts. The purchase contract involved 47 A319neos, 33 A320neos, and 20 A321neos versions. The other major narrowbody contract, involving U.S.-based Air Lease Corporation, encompassed 50 A220-300s, 25 A321neos, and 27 A321XLRs. With the XLR signing, Air Lease became a new customer for the extra long-range version of the A321neo.  

Another single-aisle transaction in January involved Philippines-based Cebu Pacific, which placed an order for five A320neos and 10 A321XLRs, establishing the low-cost carrier as yet another new customer for the extra long-range version. An order for eight A220-300s from Air Senegal completed the month’s new single-aisle business. 

Also during the month, two lessors acquired additional A320-family jets for their portfolios, as China Aircraft Leasing Group signed a purchase agreement for 40 A321neos and Singapore-based BOC Aviation placed a firm order for 20 A320neos.

January’s widebody orders involved A350 XWB acquisitions in the A350-900 configuration by two repeat customers: Air France, which signed for 10, and Air Lease, which committed to one aircraft.

Airbus’s gross order total in 2020 stood at 296 aircraft as of January 31.

In terms of deliveries, Airbus’s struggles with A321neo bottlenecks resumed during the month, following a monumental December 2019 performance, as its January shipments totaled only 26 A320-family aircraft—25 neos and one ceo-configured jet, along with two A220s. Widebody deliveries consisted of two A350-900s and a single A330neo.

Airbus’s narrowbody production pressures appear likely to continue, if not intensify, with the closure of its A320 plant in Tianjin, China, due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. The Tianjin factory assembles six A320 aircraft each month, accounting for almost 10 percent of global production for the single-aisle family.