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News: Aircraft Manufacturing Giant, Airbus Deliveries Drop By 11% As Supply Chain Hits A350s

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AIRBUS Airline

Aircraft manufacturing giant, Airbus is under pressure to meet its 2023 production targets following supply chain issues causing a drop in its 2023 deliveries by 11%.

According to a Reuters report, published by simpleflying.com, Airbus is struggling to meet its monthly deliveries targets due to global supply chain issues and will likely miss its first-quarter number.

The Reuters report, published on Friday, said Airbus deliveries fell by 11% on an industrial basis to 127 jets in the first quarter, according to ‘industry sources.” Although Airbus declined to comment before the official report was issued on April 11th, Reuters said.

READ: Aviation: With 661 aircraft delivered, Airbus bests Boeing to be the world’s leading aircraft maker in 2022

“Deliveries were down 11% from 142 physical deliveries in the same period last year, or down 9% compared with an adjusted total of 140. Airbus last year clawed back two deliveries to reflect Western sanctions on Russia.”

Supply chain issues affecting deliveries
The fall was attributed to pressure on global supply chains that would impact the half-year forecast, “paving the way for a 12-week sprint to steady the trajectory by mid-year.” The sources revealed that in the first quarter of 2023, Airbus delivered 10 A220s, 106 A320neo family aircraft and 11 widebody jets, including five A350s. The quarterly drop was blamed on delivering only the five A350s, compared to unadjusted deliveries of 16 in the same period last year.

READ: News: European Aircraft Manufacturer, Airbus Expects A Rise In Freighter Demand with 2,440 New-Build or Converted in the next 20 years

Airbus started the year with a 33% drop in deliveries in January but reduced the cumulative year-on-year deficit to 11% in March, an improvement on the 16% in February. Reuters said its sources would only speak on the condition of anonymity, with them adding:

“Hopes of achieving deliveries in the high 130s in the first quarter were hit by continuing industrial and supply chain problems that have most recently spread to premium widebody cabins.”

After failing to meet its delivery targets in 2022, Airbus, and its CEO Guillaume Faury, are under mounting pressure to achieve the 2023 goal of 720 deliveries. This is why a sprint in the second quarter is on the cards so the OEM can either show its annual target is credible or be forced to review it to a number that looks achievable.
According to the sources, Faury has labeled 2023 a make-or-break year after last year’s disappointment and is “determined to avoid flying blind into the second half.”

READ: Aviation: Aircraft giant, Airbus forecasts 1,100 new aircraft deliveries in Africa by 2040 as industry supports 6.2 million jobs and contributes $56 billion to GDP

What happened in China?
During a state visit to China by French President Emmanuel Macron last week, Faury signed an agreement to expand A320 Family final assembly in China. The deal, witnessed by Macron and Chinese President Xi Jinping, was made with the Tianjin Free Trade Zone Investment Company Ltd. and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China Ltd.

The agreement will increase production capacity by adding a second final assembly line. Airbus said this would contribute to its overall rate objective of 75 aircraft per month in 2026 throughout its global production network.

The Tianjin Final Assembly Line (FAL Asia) started operation in 2008 and has assembled more than 600 A320 Family aircraft, including its first A321neo in March. Airbus has four A320 Family final assembly sites: in Hamburg (Germany), Toulouse (France), Mobile (USA) and Tianjin (China).

Airbus also signed an agreement with the China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS), which covers the (previously announced) purchase of 150 A320 Family and 10 A350-900 aircraft.

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