Airbus Commercial Aircraft, the airliner manufacturing arm of European aerospace giant Airbus Group, announced on Monday that last year it had set a new company record for annual deliveries of aircraft. These totalled 718 aeroplanes to 85 customers and amounted to a 4% increase over the 688 delivered in 2016, which was the previous record year.
Moreover, the company secured 1 109 net orders from 44 customers during 2017. By the end of the year, its total order backlog stood at 7 265 aircraft, worth $1.059-trillion at list prices. As a result, Airbus has a book-to-bill ratio of 1.5 (that is, the ratio of orders received to units delivered and invoiced – “billed” – over a specific period; a ratio of more than 1 shows that demand is strong).
“A new Airbus delivery record coupled with our fifth best order intake wraps up a remarkable year for us,” affirmed Airbus Group chief operating officer and Airbus Commercial aircraft president Fabrice Brégier. “This outstanding achievement is testimony to the dedication of all our teams, and makes the company fitter, stronger and ready for the opportunities ahead.”
The breakdown of 2017 deliveries was: 558 single-aisle A320 family (including 181 A320 new engine option, or neo, versions) aircraft, 67 A330 wide-bodies, 78 A350XWB wide-bodies (an increase of nearly 60% over 2016), and 15 A380 Superjumbos. The company has now enjoyed 15 consecutive years of increasing production of its airliners.
And production of key products is continuing to ramp up. With four A320 family final assembly lines (FALs) in four countries on three continents – Toulouse (France) and Hamburg (Germany) in Europe, Tianjin (China) in Asia and Mobile (US) in North America – the company is on course to reach a production rate of 60 single-aisle airliners a month (known as rate 60, for short) by the middle of 2019. A350XWB production is also increasing and is on course to reach rate 10 by the end of this year.
The company further highlighted its major industrial achievements during last year. These included the first flight of the A330neo, the certification of the A350-1000, the structural completion of the Beluga XL specialised outsize cargo aircraft, the inauguration of the new A330 Completion and Delivery Centre in Tianjin (plus the first two deliveries from this facility). In terms of deliveries, landmarks were the first deliveries of A320neos with Pratt&Whitney and CFM International engines, the fiftieth delivery of an A320 family aeroplane from the Mobile FAL, the hundredth delivery of an A350XWB, and the delivery of the hundredth A380 bought by Emirates Airline.