Airbus released data on 2020 orders and deliveries, showing a decline of 34% in the number of commercial aircraft handed over to clients: 566 against 863 in 2019. In an official note released today, the European manufacturer specified that a total of 87 clients received 38 A220 family aircraft, 446 A320 family aircraft (431 of which NEO), 19 A330 family aircraft (13 NEO), 59 A350 family aircraft (including14 A350-1000) and 4 A380 (three of which went to Emirates, 1 to All Nippon Airways). During the same 12 months from January 1 to December 31, 2020, Airbus gained 383 new aircraft orders, including 268 net orders, with 7,184 aircraft in backlog. In 2019 it had received 768 net orders, while backlog at the end of the year totalled 7,482 aircraft.
Following the Covid pandemic, in April Airbus had introduced an adaptation plan aimed at reducing production at its plants in Toulouse, Hamburg and Mobile. Also, in order to overcome international travel restrictions, the Airbus team developed an innovative e-delivery solution which represented more than 25% of the 2020 deliveries, allowing customers to receive their aircraft while minimising the need for their teams to travel. “Working hand-in-hand with our customers allowed us to navigate a difficult year. The Airbus teams, customers and suppliers truly pulled together in the face of adversity to deliver this result. We also thank our partners and governments for their strong support to the sector,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus Chief Executive Officer. “Based on our 2020 deliveries we are cautiously optimistic as we look into 2021, although challenges and uncertainties remain high in the short term”.
The month-per-month analysis shows a net decline of deliveries (at just 14, down from 55 in February and 36 in march) in April, when the pandemic went global and commercial aviation practically stopped as a consequence of the travel bans issued by almost all Countries around the world. Numbers remained low in May at 24 deliveries, but then started a steady growth which culminated in the 89 registered during the month of December. Considering deliveries per region, Asia-Pacific airlines took 25.8% of the total, Europe 20.8%, North America 15.2%, Africa and the Middle East 5.8%, Latin America 2.1%. Lessors counted for 29.4%, other operators for 0.9%.
In what has been the worst year for Airbus since its first aircraft was delivered to a client in May 1974, the European manufactures recorded celebrated a couple of key milestones: on October 9 it handed over to MEA Middle East Airlines of Lebanon the 10,000th A320 family aircraft (an A321neo); and on October 29 the first ever Airbus A330-800 was delivered to Kuwait Airways, marking the debut of the shorter version of the latest version of the best-selling long-range twin.