Airbus deliveries back on track after record August

Tue Sep 6, 2016 10:21am EDT
 
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By Tim Hepher

PARIS, Sept 6 (Reuters) - A surge in Airbus 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.

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 in deliveries after putting workers on an overtime drive to help clear the backlog.

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 now capable of meeting its annual delivery goal of 650 aircraft.

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 ultimate 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 target for 650, which underpins Airbus Group's revenue expectations.

August's increase, from the previous August peak of 47 in 2013, was mainly due to accelerated deliveries of the existing version of the Airbus A320, the company's best-selling model.

It is gradually being replaced by the upgraded A320neo, but deliveries of the newer model have been hampered by technical problems and delays with engines from Pratt & Whitney.   Continued...