News Article

Airbus deliveries reach 16-year first-half low despite bounce in June

In June, Airbus deliveries rose 50 per cent compared to May and hit their highest level since the coronavirus outbreak spread to Europe in March, but the increasing recovery did not help to keep first-half deliveries from falling to a 16-year low.

Figures published late on Wednesday by the European planemaker underscored a slump in the fortunes of the aerospace industry since early this year, hours after Airbus employees facing job losses held their first strike in 12 years.

Deliveries rose from 24 to 36 in May and a low of 14 in April. For the first half, deliveries dropped by 49 per cent to 196 planes compared with 389 in the same period last year.

Airbus said it faced an average 40 per cent decline in business over the next two years, prompting it to slash its workforce by 15,000 jobs, or 11 per cent. Unions oppose compulsory cuts.

Faced with a slump in demand, the plane manufacturer has been encouraging airlines to take planes that were already built in exchange for permission to postpone others due at later dates.

Nonetheless, certain aircraft go straight into storage because the demand for travel is recovering slowly, experts claim.

June’s figures indicated negotiations paid off in part as Airbus handed over three A350-900 wide-body aircraft for European airlines despite a surplus of large jets.

But deliveries of several other wide-body aircraft at Airbus and U.S. competitor Boeing remain hampered by the crisis-induced weak demand for long-haul travel.

Last month, sources said that Airbus had sent out dozens of default notices to airlines in an attempt to keep deliveries moving.

Airbus posted no orders for a second month with airlines concentrating on survival.

So far this year, gross orders remained at 365 jets, but net orders adjusted for cancellations fell by one unit to 298, after lessor Avolon cancelled one of ten A330neos it ordered.

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