Airbus delivered a record 626 airplanes in 2013

Airbus had a record 2013 delivering 626 aircraft, the company announced today. New airplanes were delivered to 93 different customers, fifteen of them new.

However, even though Airbus had more orders, its main rival Boeing won the year delivering 648 aircraft.

According to Airbus, it now has a 51% share of the market for airplanes with more than 100 seats. It claims to have maintained its market leadership position for both widebody and single-aisle jetliners sized at above 100 seats.

At Airbus’ traditional year-opening press conference, Fabrice Brégier, President and CEO of Airbus, said that the company is well positioned for the future, with service entry of its next-generation A350 XWB extra wide-body jetliner this year, “the maiden flight for the A320 single-aisle family’s NEO (new engine option) version, along with progress on certification for the A330’s increased takeoff weight and regional versions.”

In Toulouse, France, Brégier said:

“This is important as we continue with our current programmes while preparing for the production ramp-up with the A350 XWB and A320neo. In 2014, there will be further improvements in our global competitiveness, efficiency and effectiveness. The focus also will be on incremental innovation that is simpler, less risky, less costly and comes faster to market.”

Aviation industry’s problem is supply, not demand

Although Airbus claims it is able to maintain production rates at sustained levels, it is unable to keep up with demand. As of December, 2013, the company had a record backlog of 5,559 planes.

Airplane deliveries have increased annually for twelve successive years.

Production of the A320 Family was increased to 42 per month in 2013, while a record ten A330s were produced each month. The company wrote “The A380 is moving toward a break-even rate of 30 aircraft annually based on improved production processes that are now in place.”

Below are some highlighted data from Airbus’ news conference regarding its 2013 performance:

  • 626 aircraft deliveries (493 A320 Family aircraft, 108 A330, 25 A380).
  • Ninety-three customers, of which 15 were new.
  • 1,619 gross orders, a new industry record (377 A320ceo, 876 A320neo, 77 A330, 239 A350 XWB, 50 A380), beating the 2011 record by 11 units.
  • Gross order intake of $240.5 billion (list price), a record.
  • By the end of 2013 the backlog of 5,559 aircraft was valued at $809 billion, or 18 years’ worth of production.

In 2013, there were more than 2,600 orders for the A320neo, and strong sales for the A320ceo. The company was encouraged by its breakthrough into the Japanese market for the A350 XWB. “The A380 continued to dominate the Very Large Aircraft market with 50 new orders.”