Airbus delivered 57 aircraft in September, the most it has in any month this year. The bulk of the deliveries were of the narrowbody A320 family, with 43 aircraft. Airbus also delivered nine widebodies, with two A330-900s and seven A350s (four -900s and three -1000). Deliveries jumped by 50% compared to August, signaling a slight recovery for the planemaker.
Most deliveries in 2020
September is officially Airbus’ most successful month in terms of deliveries this year. Airbus delivered 57 jets this month compared to 55 in February, before the pandemic really took hold globally. This is a significant milestone for Airbus, which saw orders and deliveries crater in April, at the peak of the current crisis.
This recovery has been mainly driven by the popularity of the A320 family of aircraft. Airlines continue to take delivery of the A320neo and A321neo, as narrowbody aircraft remain much more in use than widebody fleets.
Meanwhile, Airbus also delivered five of the popular A220-300s, with three going to Air Canada and two to EgyptAir. Indian low-cost airline IndiGo took the most deliveries this month, with one A320neo and three A321neos.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.
Widebody deliveries rise slightly
Widebody deliveries also picked up the pace this month, with nine in total arriving with their owners. Delta picked up a bulk of this month’s widebodies, taking delivery of both A330neos and two A350-900s. This comes as Delta retires its entire 777 fleet and plans its last flight later this month.
While still down from the high of 11 planes in February, airlines are looking to start adding widebodies again. Finnair and Cathay Pacific both took delivery of one A350-900 each, while Virgin Atlantic took delivery of two A350-1000s. Cathay Pacific took one as well.
Cathay Pacific’s new A350s could be heading straight into storage as the airline renegotiates its delivery plans with Airbus. For now, airlines are still looking to avoid taking on bigger aircraft as international demand remains curtailed for the near future.
Airbus optimistic about the future
This month’s figures have Airbus feeling upbeat, with the European planemaker setting a new target for this year. According to Reuters, Airbus is hoping to reach 500 deliveries this year, down from 863 last year. This goal comes after Airbus declined to give a delivery target for this year due to the evolving crisis.
Airbus has delivered 341 aircraft until September this year, which means it needs to get another 159 planes to its owners by the end of this year to meet this goal. This would mean around 53 aircraft every month, a lofty goal for this volatile year.
The next few months will be critical for the industry as rising cases and the winter threatens to plunge travel demand once again. If current figures do hold steady for the rest of the year, Airbus might be able to reach its target, but it will not be an easy feat.
What do you make of Airbus’ deliveries and target for this year? Let us know in the comments!