Despite Airbus’ aircraft deliveries taking a dive in August, the European planemaker remains well ahead of its besieged US rival, Boeing, in both deliveries and net new orders.
Airbus has announced that it delivered 39 aircraft in August, down from the 49 jets it delivered in July, and only slightly down from the 41 aircraft delivered in August 2019.
August deliveries were made up of 35 aircraft in the A320 family, two A330s, and two A350s.
According to the planemaker, around a quarter of its August deliveries were made to low-cost carriers that have appeared able to bounce back from the prolonged aviation crisis at a faster rate than their larger, traditional counterparts. These include Hungary’s Wizz Air and India’s IndiGo.
One of the two A350s delivered reportedly went to Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific, easing a backlog of deliveries that were delayed by the airline due to the global pandemic.
Cathay said in July it had now reached agreement with Airbus over a new timetable involving deferred deliveries.
Airbus also revealed it had sold one aircraft in July, a private A321neo, to an undisclosed buyer.
Meanwhile, rival Boeing reported just 13 aircraft deliveries in August.
In combination with the COVID-19 challenges, Boeing has also had to battle for recertification of its 737 MAX, which has been grounded around the world for over a year following two fatal plane crashes, as well as ongoing manufacturing issues located in its 787 Dreamliner.
Both have caused delays and cancellations of deliveries.
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen both Airbus and Boeing take a hit to their delivery schedules.
So far in 2020, Airbus has delivered 284 aircraft, down 43 per cent from the 500 it had delivered in the same period in 2019.
Boeing has delivered 87 jets in the first eight months of 2020, down from 276 in 2019.
Meanwhile, Airbus has sold 370 aircraft year-to-date, or 303 when allowing for cancellations.
Boeing has sold 67 jets, however an influx of 737 MAX cancellations has pushed its net order tally for 2020 to date to a negative total of -378.