Strong Recovery: Airbus Reverses Loss In The Space Of A Year

Airbus is continuing to see a strong recovery from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the planemaker revealed a net income of €2.635 billion ($3.055 billion) for the first nine months of 2021. This is almost a complete reversal of the €2.686 billion ($3.114 billion) loss reported for the same period in 2020.

Airbus, Financial Results, Deliveries
Airbus has practically reversed its financial position year on year. Photo: Getty Images

Across the industry, aviation is healing. Primarily this has been observed for airlines and airports, as increasing passenger demand is easy to see. However, it has also become the case for the major manufacturers. Just this week, Simple Flying reported that Boeing had reported its second consecutive quarter in profit in two years.

424 commercial aircraft delivered

So far this year, Airbus has been storming ahead when it comes to deliveries of commercial aircraft. This is three-quarters of the 566 aircraft delivered by Airbus in 2020. However, by this point last year, Airbus had only delivered 341 aircraft.

Around the world, short-haul travel has been recovering far faster than long-haul. This is also reflected in the aircraft that Airbus is delivering. Almost 90% of aircraft delivered in Q1-3 have been narrowbodies, with the vast majority coming from the A320 family. As far as widebodies go, Airbus has delivered 11 A330s, 36 A350s, and just two Airbus A380s, both of which went to Emirates. The most recent A380 delivery to Emirates is yet to be reflected in the figures.

London Heathrow, Airbus A380, Hub
Emirates took delivery of two Airbus A380s in the first nine months of 2021. Photo: Getty Images

Towards the end of the year, there is usually a rush to deliver as many aircraft as possible so that they’re counted in this year’s figure. With everything in mind, it seems likely that the manufacturer will smash its pandemic impacted 2020 deliveries.

How do orders look?

The manufacturer’s order book hasn’t been increasing at the same pace, but it also hasn’t been lying dormant. Across nine months, Airbus has clocked 270 new aircraft orders. This is down from 2020, when 370 orders were clocked. Unfortunately, the company has seen an increase in cancellations. Net orders currently stand at 133 aircraft, suggesting that 137 orders have been canceled during the period, compared to 70 aircraft last year.

Whatever way you look at it, Airbus is still far ahead of its rival Boeing. In the first three quarters of the year, the US aerospace giant has so far only delivered 241 aircraft, just over half of its European competition.

Airbus A 300-600 ST / Beluga
Airbus has seen slightly more order cancelations this year. Photo: Getty Images

Confident about the future

It seems that Airbus is confident about the future following these results. Commenting on the numbers, the company’s CEO, Guillaume Faury, said,

“The nine-month results reflect a strong performance across the company as well as our efforts on cost containment and competitiveness. As the global recovery continues, we are closely monitoring potential risks to our industry. We are focused on securing the A320 Family ramp up and striving to ensure the right industrial and supply chain capabilities are in place.”#

What do you make of the situation? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!