Airbus Doubles Its Order Books In November

Airbus has today released its orders and deliveries figures to the end of November, and it’s been an excellent month for the European planemaker. All in, Airbus lodged 318 new aircraft orders in the month, helped by the Dubai Air Show, taking its total for the year to 610 gross aircraft orders.

The A321neo has been the star of the show for Airbus. Photo: Airbus

Airbus enjoys a strong November

Airbus seems to have turned a corner with a strong order book for November. The planemaker lodged a total of 318 new aircraft orders across the month from 11 separate customers, many of which were disclosed at the Dubai Air Show. With 2021’s gross orders standing at 610 aircraft, this sees November more than doubling the bookings for the year.

Orders were very much on the narrowbody side, with all but 12 aircraft from the single-aisle market. The largest order in total was from the collective Indigo Partners deal, announced at the Air Show, although Airbus has broken the order down by airlines on its report. That makes the biggest customer in November European low-cost Wizz Air, with 102 A321neos, followed by Frontier with its order in for 91 of the same.

Airbus, Indigo Partners, A321
Indigo Partners placed a huge order for 255 Airbus A321 aircraft. Photo: Airbus

In total, 285 of the 318 aircraft were from the A320neo family, with an impressive 261 for the A321neo, proving once again the vital gap that this aircraft is filling. 17 of the smaller A220 were sold, to Ibom Air and ITA.

On the widebody side, just 16 aircraft saw a commitment during November, two of which were A330-200s for Airbus Defence and Space. ITA notably signed up for 10 A330-900s, and an order was lodged for an undisclosed customer for four A330-300s. No A350s were ordered.

Interestingly, despite Air Lease Corp making a big splash at the Air Show with an order for 111 planes, including the A350F, none of that order is showing up on the Airbus books yet.

Airbus, ALC, A350 Freighter
ALC’s order is yet to make it onto the official books. Photo: Airbus

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How is the year going overall?

Compared to 2020, 2021 is playing out to be much better in terms of gross orders. 2020 saw a total of 383 gross orders, with the planemaker netting 381 after cancelations. The tally this year so far is 610 aircraft, although this is brought down by the total cancelations. These currently stand at 242, taking the net total down to 368. However, as Airbus spreads these through the years of order at the end of the year, the final total could still be relatively healthy.

Nevertheless, both years have been a shadow of the planemaker’s former glory. Pre-COVID, Airbus was in the habit of booking four figures for new airplanes, with 1080 net in 2019. Its best year in recent history was 2014, where strong sales of the A320neo family pushed it over the 1,600 mark. It looks set to be a long while before we see sales back at those levels again.

Deliveries pressed on, but the planemaker’s target for the year looks a long way away. Photo: Airbus

On the deliveries side, Airbus pushed out 58 aircraft across the month to 34 different customers. Again, these were mostly on the narrowbody side, although two A350s also made it out the door – one to JAL and one to China Eastern.

In total for the year, deliveries stand at 518 aircraft to 80 customers. The planemaker had previously targeted 600 planes delivered by the end of the year; it’s going to have to really pull it out of the bag in December if it hopes to get close to that target.