Airbus looks set to have beaten its 2020 delivery goal of 560 aircraft last year. The figures come despite the aviation industry falling back 21 years in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, although they have yet to be confirmed by Airbus themselves.
A year ago, many had high hopes for aviation in 2020. While this wasn’t the case, in the end, there was still much to celebrate as the year went on, including new aircraft deliveries for a multitude of carriers. The manufacturer even managed to shift four Airbus A380 aircraft, despite most operators having grounded the type.
Over 560 aircraft delivered
According to Reuters, citing flight tracking data and industry insiders, Airbus delivered in excess of 560 aircraft during the course of 2020. The publication states that this was the manufacturer’s informal goal but adds that Airbus declined to comment on the figures ahead of their official release.
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Typically both Airbus and Boeing reveal their aircraft orders and deliveries on a monthly basis. However, the figures first need to be audited. As a result, both usually have a delay of around a week before their figures are released. As such, we’ll likely have to wait a few more days before we learn exactly how many aircraft have been delivered.
Despite all that was going on in the industry in 2020, there were still a number of notable deliveries from the manufacturing giant. Firstly, Airbus delivered its first A330-800 in the latter part of the year to launch customer Kuwait Airlines. More recently, Uganda Airlines took delivery of its first A330-800.
For the majority of 2020, most of the world’s fleet of Airbus A380 aircraft were grounded, with the occasional positioning flight here and there. Some airlines, such as Air France, Lufthansa, and Singapore Airlines, even announced A380 retirements. One airline that has stood by the A380 during the crisis is Emirates.
This year, Airbus delivered four A380s to airlines, one to ANA, and three to Emirates, although ANA’s aircraft remains in Airbus’ care. It was delivered to ANA, but only on paper. The manufacturer also delivered JetBlue’s first Airbus A220 in 2020, but only just!
How does this compare to Boeing?
There’s no question that Airbus would’ve beaten Boeing on aircraft deliveries this year. While Boeing was able to restart 737 MAX deliveries at the very end of the year, for much of 2020, it was only delivering Boeing 787 aircraft and the odd 777 to airlines due to the MAX’s grounding. With delays to the 777X program, the American aerospace manufacturer wasn’t able to deliver its first 777Xs on time this year, and now won’t until 2022.
What do you make of 2020’s aircraft deliveries? Which was your most memorable delivery of the year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!