Airbus Only Delivered Short-Haul Aircraft In July

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On Thursday, Airbus announced that it had delivered 49 aircraft in July. Numbers were up from the months prior but included only narrowbody jets of the A220 and A320neo families. Nearly half have yet to enter into service.

Airbus delivered only narrowbody aircraft in July
The manufacturer only delivered short-haul planes last month. Photo: Airbus

First A321neos for two carriers

Over the past month, Airbus delivered 49 aircraft, all of them of the narrowbody variety. Two A220-300 went to Air Canada and Egypt Air, and the remaining 47 were of the A320neo family.

This included Middle Eastern Airlines’ (MEA) and Vistara’s very first A321neo jets. Vistara’s, delivered on July 24th, features a flat-bed business class. Unfortunately, according to data from Planespotters.net, the aircraft remains parked for the time being.

Beirut-based MEA’s arrived on July 11th, and each of its seats is fitted with a USB and laptop charging point.

Frontier
Frontier Airlines took delivery of three new narrowbodies, two of which are active. Photo: Airbus

About half of the planes remain parked

Out of the remaining delivered A320neo family, quite a few went to Chinese carriers. One went to China Eastern Airlines, one to Hong Express, one to Colourful Guizhou Airlines, one to Qingdao Airlines, one to Juenyao, and one to Loong Air.

In Europe, two went to Wizz Air, three to easyJet, one to TAP Air Portugal, one to Lufthansa, and S7 took one. In the US, two were delivered to American Airlines, and three to Frontier. Meanwhile, in the Middle East, Saudi Arabian Flynas took delivery of an A320neo, and one went to EgyptAir. To name a few.

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There have been concerns that most of the aircraft delivered during these unprecedented circumstances would go straight to storage; which seems to be true for about half of them. Most of the additions to the Chinese market are listed as in service, and so is Wizz’s, S7’s, and two of Frontier’s.

A320 factory
Airbus has threatened to sue airlines if they do not pick up their planes. Photo: Airbus

Default notices and e-delivery

According to Reuters, Airbus has issued default notices and threatened to sue those carriers not accepting the delivery of planes already built. Thus, perhaps it is not surprising airlines are choosing to accept aircraft for which they do not yet have any use.

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The company has, however, been more flexible in deferring orders for jets yet to be constructed. Meanwhile, Airbus confirmed to Bloomberg, that deliveries where being bolstered by the contactless so-called e-delivery option, which allows aircraft to change hands without breaking health precaution protocols.

New orders for first time in months

While none of Airbus’ widebody planes left for their new owners during the month, there is still cause for optimism. Deliveries were up from 36 in June, and the manufacturer received its first new orders in three months.

It sold two A320neos to an undisclosed customer, and two A321neos to Lufthansa Technik. The modifications outfit responsible for the world’s first A380 cargo conversion has signed a contract to equip the A321neoLR jets for the German Air Force. Delivery of the planes is expected in 2022.

Do you expect aircraft deliveries will pick up throughout the year, or is this a momentary spike in numbers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. 

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