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Airbus is currently enjoying a huge inflow of orders from around the world – during the past three months the European conglomerate managed to secure nearly 500 bookings, over 300 commitments are solely from Asia.
The biggest orders’ boost came in the last days of October during which Airbus collected the major part of these – almost 420 orders in a week! Which aircraft types are on the trend, you may ask.
Thus, Airbus derives benefits mainly from its Airbus A320neo and A330neo Family programs. Special focus is on the newest Airbus program – A321XLR. Why?
On the extremely competitive airlines’ market, every single carrier is looking for the most efficient ways to operate its fleet to make profit or at least stay afloat. How can they do this? By choosing single-aisle aircraft with longer range capabilities to fly further distances.
It is already the time when the industry is ready to make an alternative offer to widebodies, this is the already-mentioned A321XLR. This also explains the current situation on the widebody aircraft market, which sees slowing need for big planes.
Matters of 737 MAX Crisis Covered with Cash from Boeing 787
What concerns Boeing, in the past three months the US planemaker succeeded in winning commitments for nearly 20 jets only, and these were mainly for Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft. No airline committed for the troubled 737 MAX plane. Safety first.
Although the production of the 737 MAX was cut in April, it has not been halt, these planes are further being produced. Hoping for the regulatory authorities to clear 737 MAX aircraft for take-off already in the fourth quarter of 2019, Boeing said it will gradually increase the 737 production rate from 42 per month to 57 per month by late 2020.
However, as for now, while MAX planes are grounded and not delivered to customers, the production significantly increases costs which should be also covered. Partly, these are covered by the cash from 787.
What once seemed to be a troubled child, meaning the Boeing 787, now could be considered as the “chance of survival”. Presently, the 787 model is among the main sources of cash for Boeing.
Nevertheless, “given the current global trade environment, the 787 production rate will be reduced to 12 airplanes per month for approximately two years beginning in late 2020”, Boeing said.
All that Glitters is not Gold for Airbus
Generally, the situation seems to be very advantageous for Airbus. Customers are doubting over Boeing’s single-aisle aircraft safety, thus, why Airbus cannot produce more planes and take more customers under its wing.
Not everything is that easy. Apart from the fact that Airbus is enjoying the inflow of new orders, not all the things are that perfect for the European company as well.
Airbus tried to increase the production rates for its A320neo aircraft, to lessen the backlog. As the result, it lead to increased problems. Yet in a best-case scenario, A320neo planes output will rise to around 700 jets annually by 2021, putting the backlog at nine years of production.
Issues with Pratt & Whitney engines powering Airbus A320neo aircraft next. While IndiGo is the customer which has struck almost historical order for 300 aircraft at once, it also threatens Airbus with A320neo aircraft grounding over the problems with its engines.
Not to be missed and rising concerns over the US tariffs. In the beginning of October the US announced about its plan to impose tariffs on a number of European products. Among these are 10% duties on aircraft from France, Germany, Spain or the United Kingdom which are the four Airbus consortium countries.
Which Airlines Have Chosen Airbus?
In the end of August, Airbus won the deal with AirAsia X and the firm order for an additional 12 A330-900 and 30 A321XLR aircraft was placed.
One of the Airbus’ largest aircraft orders ever with a single airline operator was confirmed in the end of October. India’s IndiGo has placed a firm order for 300 A320neo Family aircraft, including a mix of A320neo, A321neo and A321XLR aircraft.
Another major customer – Spirit Airlines – has committed for purchase of up to 100 A320neo Family aircraft.
Among the latest Asian customers have appeared Vietjet and Cebu Pacific.
Vietnamese carrier Vietjet has announced that it will supplement its fleet with 15 Airbus A321XLR and convert five A321neo aircraft from its existing backlog. Cebu Pacific, in turn, has signed a firm order with Airbus for 16 long-range A330neo aircraft.