Releasing its annual performance figures for the 2018 year, Airbus SE revealed that it had set a new company record. The renowned aircraft manufacturer reported the delivery of 800 commercial aircraft to 93 customers over 2018, representing an 11% increase over the number of aircraft delivered in 2017.
This marked the 16th year in a row that Airbus increased the number of commercial aircraft delivered on an annual basis.
Additionally, Airbus secured 747 net orders over 2018, a decrease over the 1,109 net orders for 2019. At the close of last year, Airbus’ backlog reached a new industry record of 7,577 aircraft, up from the 7,265 reported in 2017.
Guillaume Faury, president Airbus Commercial Aircraft, said: “Despite significant operational challenges, Airbus continued its production ramp-up and delivered a record number of aircraft in 2018. I salute our teams around the globe who worked until the end of the year to meet our commitments.
“I am equally pleased about the healthy order intake as it shows the underlying strength of the commercial aircraft market and the trust our customers are placing in us. My gratitude goes out to all of them for their ongoing support.” He added: “As we look to further increase our industrial efficiency, we will continue making the digitalisation of our business a key priority.”
Breaking down the factors behind the delivery increase, the company saw increased traction from its final assembly lines in both the US and China. The Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Mobile, Alabama, which produces the popular A320 family, passed its 100th delivery and is reportedly producing in excess of four units per month. Another similar milestone was achieved at Airbus’ FAL Asia in Tianjin, China, which saw its 400th A320 delivery.
According to the aircraft manufacturer, the A320 programme is set to achieve rate 60 per month for the A320 family by mid-2019. At the same time, Airbus hit a similar milestone for its A350 line, which achieved a rate of 10 aircraft per month.
Airbus is expected to report its Full Year 2018 financial results on 14 February 2019.
Airbus’ 2018 commercial aircraft deliveries consisted of:
• 20 A220s (since it became part of the Airbus family in July 2018);
• 626 A320 Family (vs 558 in 2017), of which 386 were A320neo Family (vs 181 NEOs in 2017);
• 49 A330s (vs 67 in 2017) including the first three A330neo in 2018;
• 93 A350 XWBs (vs 78 in 2017);
• 12 A380s (vs 15 in 2017).