At the end of April 2020, Airbus CEO called the COVID-19 “the greatest crisis”, saying the company, and its commercial aircraft division in particular, gravely felt in its numbers. However, it now appears that the European plane maker managed to avoid cancellations, as the number of aircraft clients are no longer willing to buy remained the same as in the previous month.
“We saw a solid start to the year both commercially and industrially but we are quickly seeing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic coming through in the numbers,” Airbus Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury revealed on April 29, 2020.
In the first three months of the year, the company delivered 122 aircraft ‒ 40 fewer than last year. Another 60 planes were produced but saw their deliveries deferred due to “the gravest crisis the aerospace industry has ever known,” as Faury called the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, on May 5, 2020, the company’s orders and deliveries results for the previous month are out. Surprisingly, the manufacturer recorded no new orders cancellations, as the number of them remained the same as it was at the end of March 2020 ‒ 66. This leaves Airbus 299 net aircraft orders as of April 30, 2020.
However, while the cancellations, at least officially, remain under control, the business is visibly getting slower, as both new order intake and deliveries took a sharp fall.
In April 2020, The European manufacturer delivered 14 aircraft. This makes up only around a third of monthly deliveries in the previous three months, when they exceeded at least 30 aircraft. The 14 deliveries were made from the A320, A330 and A350 XWB aircraft families.
Surprisingly, perhaps, April was not a completely dry month in terms of aircraft orders, thanks to Avolon. The leasing company placed an order for nine jets; eight A320neo and one A321neo.
Apart from one undisclosed customer and its order for 10 A350XWBs, leasing companies were the only ones still buying (ordering) planes in the last few months.