On The Right Path: Airbus Increases Deliveries By 8% In 2021

Airbus today shared that it delivered a total of 611 aircraft to 88 different customers last year. The European aircraft manufacturer emphasizes that it achieved its commercial delivery goal for 2021 with this figure.

Airbus did not expect 2021 to be a year of robust activity, but it is pleased with the outcome following the downturn in 2020. Photo: Airbus

Better than the previous year

The aviation powerhouse delivered 45 more planes in 2021 than in 2020, giving an 8% rise. It highlights that this progress is thanks to strengthened resilience and the follow-up on scaling strategies. Airbus’ leadership highlights that even though the conditions are still challenging, the firm is on the right path to increase production during the year ahead to meet airline demands.

A320 family aircraft were unsurprisingly the most delivered planes for the company throughout the year, with 483 deliveries. The A350 was the next most frequently delivered, with 55 handovers. The A220 came in close behind with 50 deliveries, which was followed by the long-haul A330, with 18 deliveries. With the A380 program coming to an end, only five superjumbos were delivered. Overall, the share of deliveries was essentially similar to the breakdown in 2020.

It wasn’t only deliveries that saw better numbers in 2021. The firm reported 771 new sales in all market segments, giving a gross order intake of double compared to the year prior. The A320 series again dominated the share in this department, with 661 gross new orders for A320neo family aircraft. The A220 continues to show its increasing popularity, with 64 firm gross new orders from companies across the globe.

1st Breeze A220 - MSN55128 - Exiting Paint
Breeze famously took delivery of its first Airbus A220-300 on lease In December. Photo: Airbus

Increasing opportunities

In the long-haul sector, the A330 saw 46 new gross orders, and the A350 had 16 new gross orders. Notably, the A350F, which was launched in November, made up 11 orders from the report. The freighter also achieved another 11 commitments from the industry.

Airbus is grateful for some significant wins on the passenger widebody side. Management expressed that the firm prevailed in all evaluations where open competition existed. Notable examples are deals with ITA in Italy and Condor in Germany.

“First, our industry has demonstrated resilience during the most challenging times of the COVID crisis. Now, again, we have the complexity of the current wave. The result is a tribute to the collaboration in our ecosystem with our customers and our suppliers, as well as other key stakeholders like governments, who have provided continued support to the crisis,” Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury shared in a company press conference today.

“The result also underscores the strength of our products in terms of efficiency, in terms of sustainability, and of course, in terms of competitiveness. Finally, it also underpins the unwavering dedication of our teams to deliver on our commitments. So a big thank you goes to all of them.”

Airbus COO Christian Scherer added that his company appreciates the powerful endorsements from its customers and airline groups, including Indigo Partners, Qantas / Jetstar, and Air France-KLM for narrowbody portfolio aircraft. He said that his firm works to live up to expectations and deliver on its commitments to enable these carriers to prepare for their long-term future.

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Net new sales were reported to be 507 units. Photo: Airbus

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Keeping the momentum going

2022 has already gotten off to a strong start, with Iraqi Airways taking delivery of its first Airbus A220 earlier this month. The aircraft made a stop in Manchester, United Kingdom, while on the way to Baghdad, Iraq, from Montreal, Canada. Airbus also followed up today with the announcement for an order of 22 Airbus A220s from Florida-based Azorra.

Looking ahead, Airbus forecasts the requirement for 39,000 new-build planes by 2040. In total, 15,250 of the deliveries are expected to be replacement units. So, there will be a 13% increase in the latest-generation aircraft utilization.

Altogether, we can expect the delivery numbers to continue rising. There are targets for 65 monthly A320 family productions by 2023. Airbus and its customers will be hoping that current and future waves of coronavirus don’t take their toll on production and delivery schedules like they did in 2020.

What are your thoughts about Airbus’ orders and deliveries in 2021? What do you make of the direction of the company? Let us know what you think of the overall situation in the comment section.

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