On Tuesday, Airbus released its latest figures for sales and orders for August 2021. With 40 aircraft delivered, the European planemaker witnessed a slight decrease in the number of planes it pushed out. The figures threw some not-so-surprising results regarding the kind of aircraft delivered and gave an idea of where Airbus stands in its target for year-end deliveries. Let’s take a closer look.
The aircraft manufacturing giant rolled out 40 planes in August. The figures have thinned out a little compared to the last three months – it delivered 47 in July, 77 in June (highest so far), and 50 in May. However, this was expected as production in August usually slows down during the annual summer holiday period.
— Reuters (@Reuters) September 7, 2021
Overall, the European firm has delivered 384 aircraft in eight months against a 2021 delivery target of 600 that it set earlier this year. To meet the year-end target, Airbus has to hand over 216 more aircraft to clients in the next four months, averaging 54 planes a month. Looking at its delivery figures for this year, it’s not an impossible task for Airbus, and with the holiday season ending, production is expected to pick up again.
A320neo family comes out on top
Unsurprisingly, most of the planes that came out of Airbus factories last month were narrowbodies, given the pandemic-induced slump in demand for widebodies. The figures were so lopsided that only 2 out of the 40 airplanes delivered were widebodies. The A320neo family of aircraft alone accounted for 80% of all deliveries in August. Here’s the breakdown:
- Narrowbodies: 38/40
- Widebodies: 2/40
- A320neo: 16/40
- A321neo: 16/40
- A321ceo: 1/40
- A220-300: 5/40
- A350-900: 2/40
The largest domestic carrier in India and low-cost giant IndiGo received the maximum number of aircraft at four (two each of A320neo and A321neo). Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific were the only carriers that received the widebody A350-900, at one each.
Best month for orders so far
While deliveries in August may have taken a slight hit for Airbus, it was a completely different story when it came to orders. The aircraft manufacturer bagged an impressive order of 102 jets – its best so far in 2021. Again, the single-aisle fuel-efficient neos were the top choice for airlines, with most orders coming in from British low-cost airline Jet2 for 36 A321neos.
Delta Air Lines of the US was a close second placing an order of 30 A321neos, and LATAM Airlines Group gave the third-largest order of seven A320neos and 21 A321neos. The only widebody order came from German carrier Condor for seven A330-900. Indeed, August seems to have infused life back into Airbus’ order book following its worst month of 2021 in July when it received just two orders.
Both Airbus and Boeing made headlines in the last few weeks. British low-cost carrier Jet2 created quite a buzz when it distanced itself from Boeing and placed its first-ever order with Airbus for 36 airplanes. Following renewed interest in the 737 MAX series and restructuring of US carriers, Boeing sits quite comfortably as well in terms of the number of orders it has currently. However, its recent, rather public, disagreement with Ryanair has left many wondering which direction the carrier could take in the near future. For now, the game is on for both aircraft manufacturing rivals.