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9 November 2016 · 2 min read

Busy festive season at Airbus

154 aircraft due for delivery in 2 months

In my blog ‘August deliveries at Airbus’ I noted that during September and October we would be looking for demonstrable progress towards the 2016 annual delivery target of more than 670, given that at the end of August only 400 aircraft had been delivered.

Progress has been slow in coming, with only 516 aircraft delivered as of the end of October, leaving Airbus to make 154 deliveries in two months in order to reach the target. The main laggards are the A320 programme where we understand problems with the engine have all but halted deliveries of the new engine option (neo), and the A350 due to issues with the ramp up and the supply chain.

I am not generally predisposed to bet against Airbus when it comes to them achieving delivery targets. In 2014 it looked highly unlikely Airbus would deliver its planned 30 A380 aircraft but against all odds they delivered five in the month of December, with CFO Harold Wilhelm admitting that the workforce was brought back between Christmas and New Year and told they would not be leaving until the last A380 left the hangar.

It feels as though he may have to issue a similar message this year, because at the Q3 results on 26 October Mr Wilhelm seemed extremely confident Airbus would not only meet, but exceed its delivery guidance for 2016. At the beginning of the year the company said it was targeting ‘more than 650 deliveries, but during the Q3 presentation Mr Wilhelm said he was targeting 670.

This leaves Airbus needing to ship 154 aircraft in the next two months. The delivery schedule is notoriously weighted towards the fourth quarter. In 2014 it delivered 30% of its annual total in Q4, and 30%, so the required 31% in 2016 looks realistic but it looks like this one will go right down to the wire. I hope the Airbus engineers have a good New Year’s Eve party!

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