Airbus Surpasses 20,000 Commercial Aircraft Orders

Airbus commercial aircraft numbers hit a special number in November. With 222 orders added last month, the European aircraft manufacturer has logged over 20,000 commercial aircraft orders on its books. The number is cumulative and represents all orders taken since the company was started. It’s a great milestone for the manufacturer which has experienced a great deal of success just in 2019 alone.

The A321XLR has seen a great deal of success in 2019. Photo: Airbus

On Airbus’ order page we can see how orders break down within that 20,000+ figure, divided by ‘family’:

  • A300/310: 816
  • A220/320: 15,865
  • A330/340/350: 3,126
  • A380: 251
  • Total: 20,058

As you can see, with 15,865 orders, the Airbus A220/320 family of aircraft represents nearly 80% of total orders. Of course, several factors explain this huge number. Firstly, the A300/310 programs have been discontinued – and A380 production will be ending soon. Furthermore, there is certainly more demand for smaller aircraft as they fill the fleets of large flag carriers, small regional airlines, and low-cost budget airlines. Lastly, the A320 family of jets have been re-engined, giving the programs further longevity whilst allowing them to retain the same model name.

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Soon you’ll only find A310s being flown in Iran. Air Transat will be retiring its own A310s within the next year. Photo: Lasse Fuss via Wikimedia Commons

A successful showing in Dubai

Emirates A350 preview
Emirates is expecting to receive its A350s in five years. Photo: Emirates

Included in the November numbers is Airbus’ fairly successful time at the 2019 Dubai Airshow. Taking place in the middle of the month, the bookings made at the airshow included a number of large orders from Middle East carriers:

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Outside of the Dubai Airshow, Airbus also took orders from Cebu Pacific as well as easyJet.

December off to a good start

We are less than a week into December and Airbus is already off to a good start. In fact, United Airlines recently placed a huge order for the Airbus A321neo aircraft. The US carrier has ordered 50 Airbus A321XLRs, with deliveries starting from 2024.

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At list prices, the deal would be worth $7.1bn, and represents a significant upset for archrival Boeing as it struggles with the grounding of its 737 MAX aircraft. The major U.S. airline does have a decent portion of Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft already in its fleet but overall seems to favor Boeing aircraft – especially for its long-haul services.

United’s new Airbus order was announced on December 3rd. Photo: Airbus

Conclusion

We were curious about archrival Boeing’s total commercial aircraft orders. Considering the American manufacturer started much earlier than Airbus, and its 737 program had a 20-year headstart on the A320, their number should be much higher. Furthermore, Boeing’s 747 program has been much more successful than both the A340 and the A380. As such, we reached out to Boeing to see if we could get a figure for the sake of comparison. At the time of publishing this article, we have yet to receive a response.

This is overall great news for Airbus and it’s a pretty sure bet that this is ‘just the beginning’ as markets like China and India continue to boom whilst emerging markets like Africa continue to develop as well.

What’s your favorite Airbus jet? Let us know in the comments!

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Michael Sheargold

Great news for Airbus and the traveling public! Think my favourite has to be A380 (thank you Qantas for flying it to US and UK) but the A350 is growing on me!!!

Bryce

Congratulations to Airbus 🙂
Personally, I’d prefer if the Airbus website stopped grouping the A220 and A320 together into one family, and I similarly think that the A350 shouldn’t be grouped into the A330/A340 family.
It might also be fun if the Airbus website gave a breakdown of the total production figures from each assembly plant.
But these are just minor points.

Gerry S

I am enamored of the A340 a/c. Long and sleek with twin powerplants under each wing it seems so d**n
purposeful. The A380 in comparison looks like a whale. Not exciting. The A340 reminds me of the old DC-8’s of yesteryear. I will hate to see them go.