Airbus Sees A Strong First Half Performance Amid 300 Plane Deliveries

Airbus today revealed that it had experienced a solid first half, showing a profit of €2.2 billion ($2.6 billion) for the six months from January to June. During this period, the planemaker delivered 297 commercial aircraft to customers around the world. For comparison, rival manufacturer Boeing delivered roughly half this (156) during the half.

Airbus A 300-600 ST / Beluga
Airbus delivered 297 aircraft during the first half of 2021. Photo: Getty Images

The pandemic caused a lot of headaches for aircraft manufacturers as airlines sought to defer aircraft deliveries. In some cases, this was for aircraft that had already been built. As such, Airbus experienced a dip in deliveries last year. It seems as though aviation is healing as Airbus delivered roughly 50% more aircraft than in the same period the previous year.

Billions of profit

Airbus revealed a fairly sizeable profit for the first half of the year. The planemaker booked revenues of €24.6 billion ($29.2 billion) for the half. This was an increase of 30% year on year. It seems as though the European aviation giant also had some significant expenses for the quarter.

Airbus reported its operating profit, which it refers to as EBIT, as €2.7 billion ($3.2 billion). Within this figure, Airbus included a cost of €145 million ($172 million) for wrapping up the Airbus A380 program. After-tax and other related expenses, the profit comes to €2.2 billion ($2.6 billion).

Emirates Airbus A380 Lands Into Sydney, Australia
Two A380s were delivered during the half. Photo: Getty Images.

Thousands of undelivered commercial aircraft

Airbus delivered 297 aircraft during the first half of the year, but it still has thousands of undelivered planes. Short-haul is recovering faster than long-haul in terms of passenger demand, but it seems this also translates to aircraft deliveries. The 297 aircraft comprised 21 A220s, 237 A320 Family, seven A330s, 30 A350s, and two A380s.

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The manufacturer’s backlog did drop slightly. Only 165 orders were revealed, compared to 365 last year, but after cancelations, the net increase in orders for the period was just 38. In 2020 net orders were 298.

Taking all the existing orders, cancelations, and new orders, Airbus currently has a backlog of 6,925 aircraft. Yesterday, Boeing reported that its backlog of 4,100+ aircraft was valued at $285 billion. One would imagine more orders will start trickling in soon with the official launch of an A350 freighter announced alongside the results.

Airbus, Financial Results, COVID-19
Airbus is hoping for a full-year profit of around €4 billion. Photo: Getty Images

Commenting on the results, Airbus’ CEO, Guillaume Faury, said,

“These half-year results reflect the commercial aircraft deliveries, our focus on cost containment and competitiveness, and the good performance in Helicopters and Defence and Space. Although the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the numerous actions taken by the teams have delivered a strong H1 performance.”

What’s next for Airbus?

Airbus updated its guidance for the whole of this year and revealed that it now expects to post a full-year profit of around €4 billion ($4.75 billion). The manufacturer is eyeing a similar number of deliveries in the second half of the year, setting its target for full-year commercial deliveries at 600 aircraft.

What do you make of Airbus’ second-half results? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!