Airbus had a strong October and looks to be finishing off the year on a solid note, albeit a slight reduction in expected aircraft to be delivered. The airplane manufacturer clocked in a series of wins in October that left an already injured Boeing even further behind.
Airbus reported 415 airplane orders in November, with the majority of which coming from India’s IndiGo with the airline ordering 300 Airbus A320neo family aircraft. The remaining aircraft are a wide variety of aircraft across the Airbus family.
While the IndiGo order is not a huge blow to Boeing it still is significant. IndiGo’s fleet is primarily Airbus aircraft numbering well over 200 so a huge order like this for additional aircraft of the same family isn’t much of a surprise nor is it something Boeing could have really tried for. It is, however, a major morale dampener since Boeing is facing a net total of 54 aircraft ordered through the end of September after cancellations. Airbus, if excluding the huge 300 aircraft order from IndiGo, would stand around 240 net aircraft orders.
Boeing recently was forced to cut 787 Dreamliner production citing trade tensions between the U.S. and China and lack of demand from Chinese airlines.
Airbus Growth in China
Airbus has found success in China too, capitalizing off the U.S./China trade war that has put Boeing’s growth in the country in question. It is expected that China will financially support purchases of Airbus aircraft made by Chinese airlines. In addition, France and China will increase cooperation on several key facets of a growing aircraft supplier relationship.
The two nations plan to work together on furthering the Airbus A350 program and will also boost cooperation in the helicopter sector along with aircraft engines and pilot training. All areas where China lacks the expertise as it is trying to develop its own home-grown competitor to Airbus and Boeing.
Airbus also plans on making significant investments in China moving forward. The manufacturer wants to increase aircraft production in China and plans on expanding its completion center in Tianjin so it can accommodate A350 aircraft instead of only Airbus A330 aircraft which it currently handles. This new expanded facility would be able to start working on A350s in the second half of 2020 with the first delivery expected in 2021.
The manufacturer is also going increasing local production of its A320neo, a key competitor to the grounded Boeing 737 MAX. The plant producing local A320neos is also in Tainjin and is expected to be able to produce six aircraft per month by the end of the year, part of the wider goal to build 63 airplanes a month by the end of next year.
At this current pace, Airbus is going to surpass Boeing and become the world’s biggest aircraft manufacturer. Airbus has secured a significant amount of new orders and has expanded strategic technology transfers to China while Boeing has been faced with a series of missteps stemming from the 737 MAX aircraft
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