Airbus Deliveries Contract in January
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Airbus Deliveries Contract in January

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Antonio Gozain By Antonio Gozain | Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst - Wed, 02/08/2023 - 15:43

Airbus deliveries fell by a third to 20 planes in January 2023 compared to the 30 jets delivered in the same month last year, the company said on Tuesday.

In its monthly operational update, the French planemaker said it sold 37 airplanes in January 2023, or a net total of 36, following the cancellation of one A320neo by Viva Air Colombia, a subsidiary of Irelandia Aviation. New orders included a previously announced decision by Delta Air Lines to exercise options for 12 more A220-300s, reports Reuters.

Although January is typically a slow month for planemakers, the drop in deliveries comes as Airbus slows the pace of planned production increases due to the limited availability of engines, among other factors. "This represents a soft start for the year in terms of deliveries," says Chloe Lemarie, Analyst, Jefferies.

Last week, Airbus settled a long-running paint and safety dispute with Qatar Airways. The row had led to the cancellation of 23 orders of undelivered A350s and 50 smaller A321neos. It also prompted Qatar Airways to increase its purchases from Boeing. The settlement will reinstate the 73 orders that were revoked; however, it is not yet reflected in the figures.

Airbus has embarked on a “cautious” strategy based on a 2023 delivery goal likely to be close to the 720 units originally slated for 2022, reports Reuters. The 720-unit goal was eventually lowered and abandoned in 2022 as supply chain and industrial pressures hit harder than expected. Finally, Airbus made 661 deliveries in 2022.

While some industry sources say the slow recovery would allow Airbus’ supply chain to reset and prepare a more reliable catch-up from 2025, other analysts expect the French planemaker to grow solidly in 2023. Airbus will publish its first forecast for 2023 with its annual results on Feb. 16.

Currently, low-cost-carriers Viva Aerobus and Volaris operate Airbus’ single-aisle aircraft, mainly A320s and A320neos. Recently, Viva Aerobus announced that airline intelligence firm Ch-Aviation recognized its fleet as the youngest in Mexico and the fourth youngest in North America. The airline’s fleet is composed of 69 aircraft (42 Airbus A320 and 27 Airbus A321) with an average age of 5.28 years. Volaris’ ranked in fifth place.

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