The European airplane maker Airbus saw a surge in deliveries of its planes in March because of a revival of air travel in China and the United States which resulted in its shares also surging.
During the first quarter, slightly higher deliveries was reported by Airbus as the company also disclosed 39 gross orders, including a new deal for 20 A220s with an unidentified buyer.
But for the quarter, the net order of planes for the company remained in the negative because it takes into account the cancellations of orders at minus 61 planes which was primary because of a cancellation of order by an airline in Norway that was disclosed by the company in the previous month.
The increasing pace of plane deliveries of Airbus also indicates that the largest plane maker of the world was all set to match or even eclipse the 122 deliveries that it had made in the first quarter of last year after the company saw a surge in March.
The good performance of the company resulted in the company’s shares increase by 2 per cent on Friday.
With the Covid-19 pandemic hitting air travel very hard and airlines cancelled deliveries, Airbus and its United States rival Boeing had to cut down production and cut thousands of jobs last year. Boeing also recently was allowed to fly its 737 Max planes after an almost two year global grounding.
According to a number of analysts, this unexpected surge in deliveries of Airbus also puts the company at pace to hit its full year target of repeating the 566 aircraft supplied in 2020 – a year marked by Covid-19.
According to reports quoting suppliers, Airbus has internally set a target of delivering more than 600 planes for the current year.
However Airbus once again produced more than it delivered in the first quarter as there are more than 100 jets of the company already lying as inventory outside its factories with airlines trying to save cash.
Stifel analyst Harry Breach said that this implied a build of inventory for the company worth a $1 billion.
The data that was issued on Thursday also showed that there was a trend among customers of Airbus to upgrade orders from the 150-seater A320neo to the larger A321neo which has the capacity to fly more than 200 passengers which is a segment where the European plane maker has strongly outperformed its US rival Boeing.
Leasing company Avolon ordered 8 single-aisle aircraft but cancelled 8 others and converted some orders to different variants, coming out unchanged in volume terms.
The buyers of single-aisle aircraft were a few Chinese airlines or lessors that had not been identified previously which meant that there were no new additions to the order tally.
Now since the prediction of the global aviation industry is divided between a domestic recovery in air travel as can be seen in the United States and China and the growing concerns that a third pandemic wave in Europe would result in depressed long range travel which analysts say will shift the attention to the production plans of the company for the rest of the year.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)