Airbus reports an increase in deliveries as demand rebound in March

Written by: Wajeeh Khan
April 9, 2021
  • Airbus reports an increase in deliveries as demand rebound in March.
  • The aircraft manufacturer's net orders remained in negative territory.
  • Airbus produced more aeroplanes in the first quarter than it delivered.

Airbus SE (EPA: AIR) said on Friday that demand for air travel recovered a bit in the United States and China last month, resulting in an increase in deliveries. Consequently, the world’s largest aeroplane manufacturer posted a slight rise in Q1 deliveries.

Airbus shares that you can learn to buy online here opened at £88 in the stock market on Friday and closed slightly lower at £87.75 per share after touching an intraday high of £90.32 per share. In comparison, the aerospace and defence company started the year 2021 at a much lower £78 per share.

Airbus net orders remained in negative territory

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Including a new deal with an unidentified buyer for 20 A220s, Airbus reported 39 gross orders on Friday. Its net orders, however, stood at minus 61 in the first quarter, predominantly attributed to the cancellation of 88 aircraft by Norwegian Air in March.

The Leiden-headquartered company’s deliveries in Q1 were higher than the same period last year when the COVID-19 crisis wreaked havoc on the global airline industry. The Coronavirus pandemic has so far infected more than 130 million people worldwide and caused over 2.9 million deaths.

The health emergency also pushed Airbus into laying off thousands of workers and cutting production to minimise costs last year. Despite the challenges, Airbus topped long-time rival the Boeing Company last year to secure the title of the world’s largest aeroplane maker in 2020.

In separate news, Southwest Airlines on Thursday recalled more than 2,700 flight attendants to meet an expected increase in demand in the upcoming summer.

Airbus produced more jets in Q1 than it delivered

Following a jump in deliveries in March, several analysts now expect Airbus to deliver 566 planes this year – as many as it did in 2020. The planemaker itself, however, wants to deliver over 600 aircraft in 2021.

Airbus, however, produced more jets in the first quarter than it delivered, with over 100 aircraft sitting outside its factories at the moment, as airlines continue to focus on minimising costs. As per analyst Harry Breach of Stifel, this translates to £730 million build-up in inventory. In February, Airbus had reported £980 million of net loss for 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Airbus performed largely downbeat in the stock market last year with an annual decline of more than 30%. At the time of writing, it is valued at £69.30 billion.