On July 29, 2021, the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus announced it was expecting to deliver more than 600 commercial aircraft by the end of 2021. The positive outlook comes after reporting a “strong performance” in the first half of 2021.
“Although the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the numerous actions taken by the teams have delivered a strong H1 performance,” said Airbus Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury. “This enables us to raise our 2021 guidance although we continue to face an unpredictable environment.”
Previously in February 2021, Airbus anticipated delivering 566 commercial aircraft, the same number it had supplied in 2020. However, the number of expected commercial aircraft deliveries increased to more than 600, as the European manufacturer said it was not expecting any further disruption to the world economy, air traffic, or internal operations.
To date, Airbus delivered a total of 297 commercial aircraft, comprising 21 Airbus A220s, 237 Airbus A320 Family, seven Airbus A330s, 30 A350s, and two Airbus A380 aircraft. Due to the higher number of commercial aircraft deliveries compared to H1 2020, consolidated revenues increased 30% year on year to €24.6 billion ($29.2 billion).
In the first half of 2021, Airbus swung into profit, posting €2.7 billion ($3.2 billion) of operating earnings. Out of €2.7 billion, €2.2 billion ($2.6 billion) profit was related to Airbus commercial aircraft activities, which were “mainly driven by the delivery performance and the company’s focus on cost containment”.
Additionally, Airbus is enhancing their product line with the new Airbus A350 freighter. The move comes after the manufacturer saw a demand for new freighters from their customers.
“Furthermore and following Board approval, we are enhancing our product line with an A350 freighter derivative, responding to customer feedback for increased competition and efficiency in this market segment,” Faury added.
Recently, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said the Doha-based air carrier was keen to add more freighters to its fleet, as the air freight market is likely to remain strong after the COVID-19 crisis is resolved. During an interview on June 22, 2021, the boss of Qatar Airways indicated that the airline would be “very keen” to be a launch customer for either Airbus A350 or Boeing 777X freighter if the aircraft manufacturers would make those aircraft available.