Figures show that Airbus and Boeing’s deliveries slowed down in July 2023, with both manufacturers continuing to struggle with their respective supply chains.
Airbus’ slight slowdown
However, Airbus delivered only seven aircraft fewer during the month compared to June 2023 figures.
In July 2023, the European plane-maker delivered a total of 65 aircraft, while a month prior, its customers received 72 aircraft. In May 2023, Airbus made 63 deliveries.
June 30, 2023, marked the end of Airbus’ Q2 2023 financial period, showcasing a similar trend when the manufacturer delivered 15 aircraft in March 2023 compared to February 2023, with March 31, 2023, being the end of Q1 2023.
Nevertheless, in July 2023, Airbus delivered five A220, one A319neo, 17 A320neo, and 31 A321neo, totaling 54 narrow-body deliveries.
The single A319neo was delivered to Tibet Airlines, one of the few remaining customers for the type. It was only the fourth A319neo delivery in 2023.
In the twin-aisle sector, deliveries were scarce, with Airbus handing over three A330-900neo, five A350-900, and three A350-1000 aircraft to airline customers.
Meanwhile, following the very commercially successful Paris Air Show 2023, where Airbus added a staggering 902 orders to its backlog, July 2023 was fairly muted in terms of orders. The manufacturer booked 60 orders, including Icelandair’s switch to Airbus with 13 A321XLRs, and Pegasus Airlines bolstering its A321neo order book with 36 further orders.
Two undisclosed customers ordered four and six Airbus A350-900 aircraft respectively, while Iberia added a single aircraft of the type to its future delivery list.
Year-to-Date (YTD) Airbus’ net orders now come to 1101, largely driven by A320neo (355 net orders) and A321neo (596 net orders) aircraft.
Boeing’s delivery dip
But Boeing’s delivery dip was more significant, with the manufacturer’s supply chain still experiencing a whole assortment of issues.
In July 2023, Boeing delivered a total of 43 aircraft, 17 fewer than in June 2023. Most deliveries during the month were of the 737 MAX (32 units), with the remaining aircraft being a 767-300F (one, to FedEx), 777Fs (three), one 787-8 (to El Al), and three 787-9s. In addition, the plane maker delivered three military aircraft, namely one P-8 Poseidon to the United States (US) Navy, while the United States Air Force (USAF) received a pair of KC-46s.
Speaking during the company’s Q2 2023 financial results earnings call, David Calhoun, the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Boeing, clarified that the company has had to deal with “external challenges within the supply chain, even logistic routes including washed-out bridges”, adding that “this is a complex business”.
“Relative to the strong demand, we will remain in a supply-constrained world for the foreseeable future,” Calhoun continued.
The temporary industrial action at Spirit AeroSystems, a key supplier of 737 fuselages including the P-8 Poseidon and MAX, also set back both the supplier and the plane -maker. Spirit AeroSystems preemptively suspended production at its Wichita, Kansas facility between June 22 and June 29, 2023, with the factory only working at full speed again from July 5, 2023.
Boeing’s supplier was forced to do this because its labor contract with District 70, Local Lodge 839 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) union, representing some 55% of Spirit AeroSystems workers in the US, expired on June 24, 2023.
Still, much like Airbus, Boeing’s delivery numbers spiked in the last month of the past two financial quarters.
In terms of orders, there were few new orders, with Luxair confirming its four Boeing 737 MAX aircraft order, just as SAUDIA confirmed its purchase of 18 Boeing 787-9 and 21 787-10s. Meanwhile, two unidentified customers were added to Boeing’s backlog, one of which ordered a single 777F, while the other ordered eight 737 MAXs.
Luxair ordered its quartet during the Paris Air Show in June 2023, with the airline also becoming the launch customer of the yet-to-be-certified 737 MAX-7 in Europe. SAUDIA, together with the newly established Riyadh Air, ordered a total of 121 Boeing 787s in March 2023.
In June 2023, Boeing booked 304 orders, including Air India firming up its order for 220 aircraft.