Wide-body aircraft demand could recover in 2023/2024: Airbus CEO

While demand is still lagging for wide-body aircraft, Airbus Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Guillaume Faury said that he sees positive signs for more demand in the near future. 

According to Faury, 2023 and 2024 are set to be positive years for twin-aisle aircraft, as reported by Reuters. The manufacturer’s chief executive spoke at an event organized by the Association of Professional Aeronautics and Space Journalists (AJPAE, Association des Journalistes Professionnels de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace) on December 8, 2022. 

So far in 2022, Airbus has delivered 80 wide-body aircraft, namely 28 variants of the A330, including the new engine option (neo) and 52 Airbus A350 aircraft. However, its order book for wide-body aircraft was reduced by 71, as cancelations for 75 A330-900neos, five A350-900, and 11 A350-1000s outweighed orders for the mentioned aircraft. The Airbus A350F was the only wide-body aircraft to grow its backlog in 2022. 

On December 7, 2022, Airbus indicated that it would fail to deliver 700 aircraft during the year, missing its forecasted target. The plane maker still insisted its financial guidance remained as if it were to deliver that number of aircraft, namely achieving adjusted Earnings Before Income and Taxes (EBIT) of €5.5 billion ($5.7 billion) and a Free Cash Flow (before Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) and Customer Financing) of €4.5 billion ($4.7 billion) in 2022. 

Despite a temporary travel boom throughout the summer, the current economic environment remains unpredictable for airlines. As such, while carriers are gearing up to ramp up for the next summer – like Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) bringing back some of their Airbus A380s in mid 2023 – the demand for new wide-body aircraft remains low. Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries page, where data is valid as of October 31, 2022, shows that Airbus’ main competitor amassed a net of 78 orders for wide bodies, including their cargo variants, such as the 767F or the 777F. 


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