Airbus Clocked Just 1 New Aircraft Order In September

Airbus Clocked Just 1 New Aircraft Order In September

Airbus has revealed its order and delivery outcomes for the month of September. The planemaker struggled to make new orders, with just one new aircraft booked during the month. It did manage to get 40 aircraft delivered, six of which were widebodies, but is still below its target output for the year as a whole.

ACJ319neo first flight
The ACJ319neo was the only aircraft to sell in September. Photo: Airbus

Just one sale for Airbus

European planemaker Airbus has had a tough September, with just one new order secured. This is quite a dip compared to its August performance, when the planemaker booked orders for 102 aircraft – its best month for sales since the start of the crisis. However, there have been months when it has reported zero new orders, so it’s certainly not its worst month for sales.

The type of aircraft sold is unusual too. Airbus’ sole order for September was for an A319neo for a private customer. It’s the first A319neo order of 2021, and only the 70th ever ordered at all. To date, just three A319neos have been delivered to customers, all of the ACJ319neo corporate/private jet iteration.

The A319neo is a pretty niche aircraft. In terms of capacity, it is on a similar footing as the cheaper and highly efficient A220-300. While it does excel in its range compared to the former C-Series, the A220 is butchering sales of the baby neo, and has seen a weak orderbook to date.

As a private jet, the A319neo is a superb option, however. Its additional fuel tanks can increase its range to 12,500 kilometers (7,767 miles), and its wide, spacious cabin gives private customers plenty of room to play with for their luxury interior designs.

Fancy a cinema at 41,000 feet? The ACJ319neo can do that. Photo: Airbus

That doesn’t mean we won’t see a commercial airline flying the A319neo. Spirit Airlines has orders in for 31 of the type, and is the biggest commercial customer for the plane at present. Two are destined for Air Cote D’Ivoire, and 30 are sold to as-yet-undisclosed customers.

A respectable month for deliveries

Despite things being slow on the sale side, Airbus has kept a decent pace with new aircraft deliveries in September. In total, 40 aircraft were delivered to 25 different customers in September 2021. Predictably, most were narrowbody aircraft, with 34 delivered.

On the regional aircraft side, Airbus delivered a total of four A220-300s, two of which went to all A220 operator airBaltic. Air France received its very first A220, while Air Tanzania took one.

From the A320 family, 30 total aircraft were delivered. Most were A320neos, with 20 leaving the Airbus factory. Customers included Spirit Airlines, Frontier, IndiGo, Go First, British Airways, and China Eastern. Nine A321neos were delivered, including for American Airlines, SAS, Wizz Air, and ANA. One A321ceo also left the factory, heading to Delta Air Lines.

Air France, Airbus A220, Route Network
Air France received its first A220. Photo: Air France

On the widebody side, six aircraft went to their owners during September. Four A330s left, three of which were -900neos, two for Lion Air and one for Air Belgium. The A330ceo was for Airbus Defense and Space. These were accompanied by two A350-900s, both of which went to Japan Airlines.

Although delivery figures are healthy, they are below where Airbus wants to see them. The planemaker is targeting output of at least 40 A320 family aircraft for the rest of the year, so has some ground to make up in this respect.

In total, to meet its targets, Airbus needs to deliver 176 more aircraft before the year is out – an average of 58 to 59 per month through the final quarter. With passenger demand undergoing its typical seasonal slump, airlines might be less willing to take new aircraft through the fourth quarter. On the other hand, with travel restrictions easing, airlines could see a bumper winter season, so the jury is still out on whether Airbus will meet its goals.

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