Airbus’ Deliveries Increased in June but Still Below 2019 LevelsBy Alicia Arizpe | Thu, 07/09/2020 - 12:39
Orders and deliveries have stagnated for major OEMs as the COVID-19 outbreak has most of the world’s fleet grounded. As passenger traffic hits new lows, airlines have made few new orders and are increasingly cancelling pending ones, with June being a particularly harsh month for planemakers.
In June, French planemaker Airbus registered no new orders for the third month in a row, leading the company to close the first six months of 2020 with 298 net orders after cancellations. Deliveries, on the other hand, rose slightly in comparison to May and April. During the sixth month, Airbus delivered 36 aircraft, while it only delivered 24 during May and 14 in April. These deliveries include the first A321neo for Mexico’s low-cost airline Viva Aerobus, which will perform its inaugural flight in August. Viva Aerobus is scheduled to receive two more A321neo and one A320neo over the year and expects that this aircraft will be an advantage when operations return to normal. “With the arrival of this new Airbus A321neo (240 seat configuration) we keep preparing ourselves for the gradual recovery in passenger demand,” said Juan Carlos Zuazua, CEO of Viva Aerobus.
However, Airbus deliveries during 2020 have substantially against the previous year. During the first half of the year, Airbus delivered 196 new jets, 49.6 percent less than the 389 aircraft delivered during the first half of 2019. The stagnation is caused partly because of the plunge in air traffic across the world. As COVID-19 restrictions became widespread, commercial aviation fell to levels not previously seen in history with international airline associations warning that the sector was on its way to see US$419 billion in revenue evaporate during 2020. With demand being minimal and showing little signs of a recovery ahead, airlines are increasingly deferring orders or outright cancelling those made on greener times, which is causing problems for the entire aerospace supply chain. "(Airlines) have commitments with us and we have made commitments (with our suppliers) because of the contracts we have with them," told Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus, to Politico.
The low demand for new aircraft is expected to have profound and long-lasting effects on the industry. Airbus stated that it expects to see a 40 percent loss in business during the next two years. However, the planemaker still has 7,584 pending orders, including 526 A220s, 6,168 A320s, 321 A330s, 560 A350 XWBs and nine A380s.