During an unprecedented crisis, Airbus has managed to deliver 566 aircraft in 2020 and to sell 268 aircraft, once 115 cancellations are taken into account. Given the scale of the earthquake, what are the prospects for 2021 and 2022 ?
Airbus : shipments down 34% from 2019
As itw as expected, Airbus commercial aircraft shipents fell by 34% in 2020 compared to 2019, 566 compared to 863 a year before. It is not surprising given the scale of the earthquake created by the covid-19 pandemic, which virtually grounded global air transport. After this, it's the story of the glass half full or half empty. Nearly 300 fewer aircraft delivered, that's a lot in terms of impact on the total turnover of the Airbus group, since the commercial aircraft activity generated nearly 80% of the revenue before the crisis. At the same time, managing to ship so many new aircraft in such a brutal and long-lasting crisis shows that Airbus customers have remained loyal despite the sharp decline in their business and its financial impact on their balance sheets.
Guillaume Faury : « A cautious optimism for 2021 ».
A sign for Airbus: sales of 268 units in 2020 after taking into account 115 cancellations. Indeed, the worst was to be feared with a large number of cancellations. Airlines and rental companies preferred to bet on delivery postponements, knowing that the bulk of the amount to be paid is made at the time the aircraft is received. Any comparison with Boeing is to be avoided because the results of the American competitor are biased by the forced grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX since April 2019. On the strength of these positive signs, Guillaume Faury, President of Airbus, can be "cautiously optimistic for the year 2021". And to evoke a "modest" increase in medium-haul production rates from the "second half of 2021" before new decisions in 2022 and 2023.
E-deliveries: a format that works
Certainly the « e-deliveries » format set up by Alain Vilanove, vice-president of contractual deliveries for Airbus commercial aircraft, and his teams will continue this year. This innovative solution has concerned more than 25% of Airbus deliveries in 2020, enabling the European manufacturer's customers to receive their aircraft while overcoming health constraints. A system that has clearly helped Airbus to achieve 566 deliveries in 2020.