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Airbus Struggles in Q1 2023, Deliveries Fall 9% Compared to Last Year

Airbus is off to a challenging start in 2023, with its Q1 aircraft deliveries down 9% compared to the same period last year. Despite setting a goal of 720 aircraft deliveries for the year, Airbus managed to deliver only 127 in the first quarter. The European manufacturer released its March Orders and Deliveries Report, highlighting 20 orders and 61 deliveries in the month, distributed among 37 customers. The March deliveries included five A220-300s, 26 A320neos, 25 A321neos, three A330-900s, and two A350-900s.

Growing Monthly Production Rate

Airbus
Credits: Airbus SAS 2021 Alexandre Doumenjou – Master Films

Airbus has seen a gradual increase in its monthly production rate, with January witnessing 20 aircraft deliveries, followed by 46 in February. In Q1, the company delivered 10 A220-300s, two A319neos, 45 A320neos, 59 A321neos, one A330-200, five A330-900s, and five A350-900s.

However, the widebody segment remains a concern, with only 11 aircraft delivered in Q1, shared between the A330 and A350 models. The sole A330-200 went to Airbus Defence and Space for the NATO fleet. A330neos went to airlines such as Virgin Atlantic (via Air Lease Corporation), Delta Air Lines, and Condor (one via CIT Leasing). A350-900s were received by Singapore Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and Starlux Airlines (one via Air Lease Corporation and another directly from Airbus).

Net Orders and the Road Ahead

Airbus secured net orders for 142 aircraft in Q1, with a total of 156 aircraft orders before accounting for 14 cancellations. In the Q1 book are orders from Qatar Airways for 50 A321neos and 23 A350-1000s, representing just over half of the net orders for the quarter. Lufthansa is another significant widebody customer this year, with orders for five A350-900s and 10 A350-1000s. There are also four A350F freighters on order from an undisclosed customer.

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Credits: AIRBUS

Before accounting for cancellations, Airbus received 114 single-aisle aircraft orders in Q1. Of those, 17 are listed as Private or Undisclosed customers, with the identified airlines including Delta Air Lines, Azerbaijan Airlines, Uzbekistan Airways, Qatar Airways, and British Airways.

Despite the backlog of 7,254 aircraft, Airbus will need to ramp up production capacity quickly to meet its 2023 delivery targets. With 6,604 single-aisle A220 and A320 Family aircraft, 209 A330s, and 441 A350s in backlog, the company has its work cut out for them. The backlog includes 2,293 A320neos, 3,682 A321neos, and 529 A220s.

To help meet this target, Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury recently signed a deal to establish a second A320 Final Assembly Line in Tianjin, China. Since the Tianjin line opened in 2008, more than 600 A320 family aircraft have been assembled there, including the first A321neo in March. Airbus aims to reach a monthly production rate of 75 aircraft by 2026 with four A320 final assembly locations in Hamburg (Germany), Mobile (USA), Toulouse (France), and Tianjin (China).

Airbus
Credits: Airbus

Challenges Ahead for Airbus

Despite the growing monthly production rate and the expansion of assembly lines in China, Airbus must overcome various challenges to achieve its ambitious 2023 delivery target of 720 aircraft. This includes addressing supply chain bottlenecks and managing disruptions caused by the ongoing global situation. In addition, Airbus must ensure that the quality of aircraft production is not compromised in the race to meet its delivery goals.

Overall, while the Q1 2023 figures indicate a slow start for Airbus, the company has shown its determination to ramp up production and meet its delivery targets. The coming months will be crucial in determining whether Airbus can overcome its current challenges and deliver on its promises to customers and stakeholders.

What are your thoughts on Airbus’s chances of meeting its delivery goals this year? Let us know in the comments below!

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