Airbus Commercial Aircraft, the airliner manufacturing arm of European aerospace giant Airbus Group, has announced that last year it set a new company record for annual deliveries of aircraft. These totalled 718 aeroplanes to 85 customers and amounted to a 4% increase over the 688 delivered in 2016, which was the previous record year. Moreover, the company secured 1 109 net orders from 44 customers during 2017. By the end of the year, its total order backlog stood at 7 265 aircraft, worth $1.059- trillion at list prices. As a result, Airbus has a book-to-bill ratio of 1.5 (that is, the ratio of orders received to units delivered and invoiced – ‘billed’ – over a specific period; a ratio of more than 1 shows that demand is strong).
“A new Airbus delivery record, coupled with our fifth-best order intake, wraps up a remarkable year for us,” affirmed Airbus Group COO and Airbus Commercial Aircraft president Fabrice Brégier. “This outstanding achievement is testimony to the dedication of all our teams, and makes the company fitter, stronger and ready for the opportunities ahead.”
The breakdown of 2017 deliveries was: 558 single-aisle A320 family (including 181 A320 new-engine option, or neo, versions) aircraft, 67 A330 wide bodies, 78 A350XWB wide bodies (an increase of nearly 60% over 2016), and 15 A380 Superjumbos. In terms of value, 35% of deliveries went to Asia, while 31% were to leasing companies. The Americas took 16% of deliveries, Europe 13% and the Middle East and Africa 5%.
The company has now enjoyed 15 consecutive years of increasing production of its airliners. Over the five-year period from 2012 to 2017, its deliveries increased by 22%, having stood at 588 in 2012. (Deliveries totalled 626 in 2013, 629 in 2014 and 635 in 2015.)
And the output of key products is continuing to rise. With four A320 family final assembly lines (FALs) in four countries on three continents – Toulouse (France) and Hamburg (Germany), in Europe, Tianjin (China), in Asia, and Mobile (US), in North America – the company is on course to reach a monthly production rate of 60 single-aisle airliners a month (known as rate 60, for short) by the middle of 2019. A350XWB production is also increasing and is on course to reach rate 10 by the end of this year.
Airbus further highlighted its major industrial achievements during last year. These included the first flight of the A330neo, the certification of the A350-1000, the structural completion of the Beluga XL specialised outsize cargo aircraft, the inauguration of the new A330 Completion and Delivery Centre, in Tianjin (plus the first two deliveries from this facility). In terms of deliveries, landmarks were the first deliveries of A320neos with Pratt&Whitney and CFM International engines, the 50th delivery of an A320 family aeroplane from the Mobile FAL, the 100th delivery of an A350XWB and the delivery of the 100th A380 bought by Emirates Airline.
Airbus also announced that it is raising its list prices for this year by an average of 2% across its entire range, effective from January 1. “Our new 2018 pricing reflects Airbus’s continuous investments into its aircraft programmes to maximise their value for our customers’ satisfaction – with the winning combination of performance, operating economics and passenger experience,” stated Airbus Commercial Aircraft COO: customers John Leahy.
The new average list prices for single-aisle airliners are now – A318: $77.4-million; A319: $92.3-million; A319neo: $101.5-million; A320: $101-million; A320neo: $110.6-million; A321: $118.3-million; and A321neo: $129.5-million. For the A330 family of wide-body aircraft, prices are – A330-200: $238.5-million; A330-200 freighter: $241.7-million; A330-800 (neo): $259.9-million; A330-300: $264.2-million; and A330-900 (neo): $296.4-million. The new prices for the A350XWB wide-body family are – A350-800: $280.6-million; A350-900: $317.4-million; and A350-1000: $366.5-million. For the A380 Superjumbo, the average price is $445.6-million. “Price depends on design weights, engine choice and level of selected customisation,” pointed out the company in a footnote to the 2018 price list.