Europe’s leading aircraft manufacturer, Airbus marked a record haul of 1,109 orders at the end of 2017 superseding its arch rival Boeing which booked 912 orders in comparison. Its deliveries stood at 718, which could go up to 800 in the current year as per estimates of its Chief Operating officer, Fabrice Bregier. The estimates were based on the increased production rates of its A320neo aircraft the deliveries of which could double in 2018.
He agreed on the slowing down of deliveries in the previous year due to engine snags developed by the manufacturers; CFM, the joint venture of Safran and General Electric and US firm Pratt & Withney. But he stated that now with the problems being resolved the aircraft held up for engines had reduced from 60 at the start of the year to a current 30. A320neo and A321neo, the medium-haul aircraft were equipped with fuel-efficient new-generation engines.
However, he revealed that they would have to quit the A380 program if they received no further orders from its largest customer, the Emirates airline of Dubai. The Emirates had picked up its 100th A380 in 2017 but there was no show after that. However, he was hopeful that things would work out with them. Since its launch, the number of orders received for the largest passenger airline, A380 had totaled to 317. In the year 2018, they planned to deliver 12 aircraft to the Emirates and this could reduce to six per year in the following years. It would definitely be challenging for them to keep up these levels till they received replacement orders from existing customers or obtained fresh orders from prospective new clients.
Summarizing on the year’s performance he said that Airbus created a record number of deliveries and obtained the fourth best order intake. About 7,265 aircraft valued at list price of $1.059 trillion stood in the company’s overall backlog at the end of 2017.