Despite the horror that was the year 2020, Airbus looks to have beaten its target of 560 aircraft deliveries. While a significant drop from previous years, under the circumstances it is an impressive milestone.
Airbus will announce the final tally of its 2020 aircraft deliveries in the next few days. However, yesterday Reuters reported that those who have been tracking and tallying their deliveries, already have their verdict. Despite all odds, the manufacturer reached its informal goal of 560 jets handovers.
The corresponding number, for 2019, was 863. If 560 is the correct number of Airbus’ 2020 deliveries, it represents a drop of 35%. In any other year, this would have been a disaster. But 2020 is not any other year – the year itself was the disaster. Under the circumstances, this must be a win for the European manufacturer. By comparison, Airbus’ deliveries grew by 37% over the previous 5 years.
Airbus even managed to certify a new aircraft near the beginning of the year: the A330-800. They made several deliveries of the aircraft, and got one new order (from Air Greenland) just before Christmas. Not bad, considering that this version has only a fraction of the orders of its biggest sister, the -900. They also certified a higher-gross-weight version of the A330-900.
Getting past 2020 Deliveries: Airbus’ 2021 Outlook
Among its 2020 aircraft deliveries, Airbus handed over the 1500th A330, just before the end of the year. They also delivered many A350s and even a handful of A380s. More crucially, they opened a second production line for their very promising A220 aircraft in Mobile, Alabama. In these times, this is the sort of aircraft that airlines really want…
Less impressive but equally important, 2020 saw the first deliveries of ‘P2F’ conversions for Airbus A320 aircraft. Two different companies have started such conversions, in Europe and the US. Airbus itself wasn’t even part of these projects. Nonetheless, this development will make the renewal of A320 fleets much easier for the airlines. And Airbus will absolutely benefit from that.
We are also waiting for Boeing’s official number for 2020 aircraft deliveries, but we know that it won’t be close to Airbus’ level. Boeing had 118 deliveries in the year, until the end of November. December will have seen a handful of deliveries of the newly-ungrounded MAX.
However November itself saw NO deliveries for 787s, as Boeing tries to put the type’s assembly problems behind it. They also delivered several cargo aircraft, split between the 767 and 777. As for 2021, it is still too soon to tell. Boeing will hope to accelerate 737 MAX deliveries, while Airbus will want to get rid of its 2020 aircraft backlog. Airlines want efficient single-aisle jets, from both manufacturers…