FILE PHOTO: An Air France Airbus A380 plane sits on the tarmac at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy-en-France, France, May 25, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
July 8, 2021
PARIS (Reuters) -Airbus delivered 297 airplanes in the first half of the year after a surge of handover activity in June, the European planemaker said on Thursday.
Deliveries, which have been recovering from a pandemic-related slump, rose 52% in the first six months from 196 at the mid-way point of 2020, and compare with a total of 389 in the first half of 2019 before the health crisis crippled air travel.
The world’s largest planemaker ahead of U.S. rival Boeing also said it had won 165 gross orders in the first half, dropping to a net total of 38 orders after cancellations.
Thursday’s monthly update confirmed a strong pickup in June after Reuters reported earlier this week that Airbus had delivered more than 70 airplanes that month to leave first-half deliveries in touching distance of the 300 mark.
The deliveries put Airbus on course to meet a 2021 goal of at least matching last year’s deliveries, analysts said.
“In terms of overall deliveries, Airbus looks to be comfortably on track to at least match guidance of around the 566 aircraft (reported) in 2020, and likely come in closer to 600,” Agency Partners analysts Sash Tusa said in a note.
In an unusual move, an order for five A350 jets previously attributed to IAG unit Aer Lingus was removed from the order column for that airline and appeared to have been placed in a column for airlines whose names have not been disclosed.
One industry source said such a move could create flexibility to adjust part of the order, though Airbus monthly data showed that the order has not so far been cancelled.
IAG, which had previously transferred A350 orders from the Irish carrier to other parts of the European airlines group, was not immediately available for comment. Airbus declined comment.
Separately, Macquarie Airfinance, a unit of Australia’s Macquarie Group, which has been gradually reducing orders for the A220 jet, cancelled another two of the aircraft in June.
(Reporting by Tim Hepher, Editing by GV De Clercq and Diane Craft)