Airbus deliveries regain momentum after record August

Tue Sep 6, 2016 3:07pm EDT
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By Tim Hepher

PARIS (Reuters) - A surge in Airbus (AIR.PA: Quote) jet deliveries in August has put the European planemaker back on course to meet an annual target which had been threatened by delays in parts supplies, but analysts warned it can ill afford further disruption.

Airbus said it had delivered 61 jets in August, 30 percent more than its previous record for the traditionally quiet summer month, bringing the total for the year so far to 400 aircraft.

The European planemaker, whose deliveries had started the year below trend because of problems with supplies of engines and cabin parts, posted a sharp increase after putting workers on an overtime drive.

Its planemaking chief Fabrice Bregier, who anticipated the record deliveries in an interview with Reuters last week, told a French newspaper on Tuesday Airbus was confident of meeting its annual delivery goals.

August had been shaping up as a make-or-break month for full-year deliveries after earlier delays. The January-August period is traditionally a solid indicator of progress towards full-year deliveries, representing an average of 62 percent of the full-year total in the past five years.

At the current rate, Airbus is on course to deliver some 645 jets this year, needing a small extra kick to reach the 2016 target of 650, which underpins Airbus Group revenues.

Airbus Group shares rose one percent.

However some industry sources and analysts expressed caution about deliveries, noting Airbus remained vulnerable to problems with suppliers and internal pressures.   Continued...

A flight test engineer holds an Airbus Group flag after the first flight of the Airbus A320neo (New Engine Option) in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, September 25, 2014. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo