Despite attempts to ramp up the production, Airbus delivered just 127 aircraft in the first three months of 2023. This compares to 142 in the same period last year and confirms that production issues are still affecting the production flow on the European airframer. Lower Q1 deliveries Airbus confirm continued supply chain issues.
Airbus released its Q1 deliveries today. January was a very weak month with just twenty deliveries, a number that caused heavy internal criticism from CEO Guillaume Faury. February was better with 46 deliveries which went up to 61 in March, making 127 in total.
While they are lower compared to the 142 in 2022, the five-year average of Q1 deliveries is 135.5 aircraft. In 2021, Airbus delivered 125 aircraft in the first quarter, in 2020 122, and in 2019 162. As such, it should be possible for the airframer to make up for the shortfall in the remaining quarters. Deliveries have traditionally been back-loaded, with a rush of planes leaving the factories in the last week of the year.
During the FY22 results presentation on February 16, Faury was positive that the supply chain will improve during the year. Airbus is guiding 720 deliveries this year and Faury said that this number is realistic, based on current data. However, the numbers seem to confirm that the supply chain remains unstable, notably with the engine makers Pratt & Whitney and CFM. Airbus originally planned to deliver 720 aircraft in 2022 too but was forced twice to revise its forecast as supply chain issues continued longer than expected.
Looking a bit closer at the numbers, Airbus delivered 116 narrowbodies in Q1 versus 120 in the same period last year. Of these, 59 were A321neo’s (2022: 58), 45 A320neo’s (49), ten A220-300s (six), and two A319neo’s (two). No A220-100s were delivered this year compared to five last year.
Widebody deliveries included five A330-900s (four), two A330-200s (two), five A350-900s (eleven), and no A350-1000s (three).
Q1 gross orders were also down to 156 from 253, but thanks to fewer cancelations, net orders stand better at 142 versus 83. Last year, Airbus unilaterally terminated the contract with Qatar Airways for fifty A321neo’s but these aircraft and 23 A350s have been reinstated.
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News and until July 1 2023 in a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.