Airbus orderbook shrinks by 99 aircraft in February 2019

Dmitry A. Mottl

In February 2019, Airbus faced cancellations of 103 aircraft in its orderbook, while during the same month it landed just one order for four A220s. Knowing that February was also the month when the Toulouse-based manufacturer announced the end of its A380 program, customers changing their minds of the A380 is already a widely discussed topic, but order cuts affected other models as well, including the A380 successor.

The A350 was poetically described by Airbus management as a plane with the “DNA of A380”. While the reference is meant to describe technological upgrades tracing the roots to the superjumbo, the sales of both models also revolved similarly: they were cancelled in tens, while new orders amounted to 0.

Etihad cancelled 42 A350s: forty A350-900s and two A350-1000s. It has been known for a while that the Gulf carrier was re-thinking its bulk orders of both Airbus and Boeing aircraft. Having previously planned to expand its fleet by 40 A350-900s and 22 A350-1000s, it intended to keep only five Airbus A350-1000s, Reuters reported in mid-February 2019. However, Airbus orderbook indicates that the Abu-Dhabi airline has (so far) kept 20 A350-1000s.

Meanwhile, Airbus indicates that 31 A380 aircraft were cancelled in February, leaving the remaining orders at 56. At the beginning of 2019, Emirates − the biggest customer of the model, responsible for over half  of all its sales − began doubting its beloved aircraft. On February 14, 2019, the planemaker officially confirmed the end of the superjumbo production in 2021, due to lack of airline demand. It appears that Emirates cancelation has not yet been recorded by Airbus.  

The bankruptcy of German low cost carrier Germania on at the beginning of February, scrapped another bulk order ‒ this time of 25 A320neos ‒ from Airbus log.


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