Airbus may have narrowly lost out to US rival Boeing in terms of total annual deliveries, but the European aerospace giant reported a strong performance for 2017. In its annual report released on January 15, the firm revealed it had handed over a record 718 commercial aircraft, a 4% increase year-on-year and significantly more than its previous best of 688 posted in 2016. It also secured 1,109 net orders from 85 customers.
Like its North American counterpart, a sizeable proportion of its deliveries were in the single-aisle market with 558 A320 Family aircraft handed over, including 181 A320neos. While in the widebody sector Airbus supplied 160 jets, consisting of 67 A330s, 78 A350 XWBs and 15 A380 superjumbos. At the end of 2017 the company’s overall backlog stood at 7,265 aircraft which it values at $1.059 trillion.
Airbus has steadily built on deliveries year-on-year with 15 consecutive years of production increases. From its four A320 Family final assembly lines (FAL) – Hamburg, Tianjin, Mobile and Toulouse – it confirmed it is on track to achieve a rate of 60 aircraft per month by mid-2019.
Fabrice Brégier, Airbus Chief Operating Officer and President Commercial Aircraft commented: “A new Airbus delivery record, coupled with our fifth best order intake, wraps up a remarkable year for us. This outstanding achievement is testimony to the dedication of all our teams, and makes the company fitter, stronger and ready for the opportunities ahead.”
Brégier highlighted some of the milestone achieved by Airbus Commercial Aircraft during 2017 including: delivery of the 100th A350 XWB; 50th A320 Family aircraft handed over from its Mobile FAL; handover of the 100th A380 to Emirates; first flight of A330neo; certification of the A350-1000; first A321neo deliveries and the inauguration of the A330 Completion and Delivery Centre in Tianjin, China. Soon-to-retire Chief Operating Officer – Customers John Leahy, underscored Airbus’ strong market position, claiming that, in terms of net order intake, Airbus has been the world’s largest commercial aircraft manufacture in nine of the last ten years – winning 53% of all orders. In the single-aisle market, Airbus said it has outsold its direct competitor in seven out of the last ten years, capturing 54% of net sale. It added it has also outsold its rival in the widebody market in seven of the last ten years, securing 50% of net sales.