At the end of the 3Q18, Airbus said it planned to get to “about 800” deliveries. Looking at the November 2018 numbers, we can see this was an ambitious goal.
Consider that in November 2017 Airbus delivered 591 and this year they are at 673 or +13.9%. Given the supply chain stress, that is impressive. This year the supply chain stress did not reduce, so how hard can Airbus push it knowing the stress is also being felt by pressure from Boeing?
Can Airbus get to its ~800? It is possible, and this may be how.
- Airbus could deliver 18 A220s this year. That was never factored before the end of 1H18. It’s not a big number, but that is a useful amount to add. Moreover, Airbus looks like increasing production levels in Mirabel and then they will be able to add Mobile in a few years. So the A220 numbers are going to be helpful now and in future.
- Other single aisles – between November and December 2017 Airbus managed to 105 aircraft. If Airbus can match that +105 deliveries this year, they could see 650 deliveries in this category (including the A220). This is the key number for Airbus and fortunately, every neo customer wants their aircraft ASAP. The collapse of Primera didn’t hurt A321LR deliveries.
- A330 sales may be slow, but deliveries should not be slower at all. We just saw several A330neos getting closer to completion and there were several outside awaiting acceptance. Can Airbus deliver 12 in December? Probably. As a support for the ongoing popularity of the A330, look how fast the Air Berlin fleet got absorbed.
- A350 deliveries last year were at 78. Looking at the last month of 2017, Airbus needs nine to match last year. Doable? Yes. This program is set for a rate increase.
- Last year Airbus delivered 15 A380s. This year looks closer to ten. The program has slowed but that was expected.
When you add all the numbers, we think Airbus reaches 799 by December 31st. This is +11.3% over last year and is remarkable given the supply chain stress.
Bear in mind that December is when everyone is trying hard to get work out before the holiday shutdown.