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Airbus Exceeds Aircraft Delivery Forecast in 2019
Reuters has reported that 863 Airbus aircraft were delivered to customers in 2019 exceeding the manufacturer’s forecast target for aircraft deliveries. The news agency is citing ‘airport and tracking sources’ for the unaudited figure which the European manufacturer refused to comment on pending official confirmation later this month.
If the number of deliveries is verified it would signify a 7.9 percent growth over 2018 and give Airbus the title of the ‘world’s largest planemaker’ for the first time since 2011.
Airbus kept its production lines open through the Christmas period to achieve the total given investors monitor customer deliveries as a key performance metric. There had been delays with the completion of A321neo aircraft but Reuters reported that ‘(Airbus) diverted thousands of workers and canceled holidays to complete a buffer stock of semi-finished aircraft waiting to have their cabins adjusted.’
Boeing is reported to have delivered 345 aircraft in the first 11 months of 2019 against a total of 806 deliveries in 2018. The U.S. manufacturer and Qatar Airways were criticized lately for the delivery flights of seven aircraft to the Gulf state, to bolster the 2019 figure, which were then flown empty back to the States for completion.
Narrowbody aircraft accounted for 640 of the 863 Airbus jets delivered in 2019 to airlines highlighting the pressure that rival Boeing must be feeling due to the grounding of the 737 MAX aircraft. In publicity material prior to the crashes of two MAX aircraft, Boeing promoted that there were 5,000 MAX aircraft on order for over 100 airlines.
Indian airline SpiceJet is one of the airline customers affected by the aircraft’s grounding and an official from the airline is cited as saying that a ‘test flight of MAX plane is likely to be done by the FAA and the EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) together in January, possibly in the third week. Once the test flights are successfully completed, then it might take at least one month for the certification process.’ No timeframe has been set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the re-introduction of the 737 MAX to passenger service.
Airbus shares increased in value by 55 percent in 2019 while Boeing could only manage a one percent rise for the 12 month period which included the second MAX crash in March.
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