Despite the challenges presented by global supply chain disruptions, Toulouse-based aircraft manufacturer Airbus has sped up its October deliveries to reach 495 aircraft delivered so far this year. The manufacturer delivered an impressive 60 aircraft in October, up from 55 the previous month, and remains optimistic about achieving the year-end goal of 700 deliveries.

Promising numbers in October

In October, Airbus delivered 60 aircraft to 38 customers, including one A220-100, four A220-300, 21 A320neo, 26 A321neo, one A330-300, two A330neo, four A350-900, and one A350-1000. One notable airline customer was Taiwan-based STARLUX, which received its first-ever Airbus A350-900 and became the latest global operator of the aircraft type.

Air China A350 Taking Off

Photo: Airbus

Air China was also a receiver of the A350-900 last month, which brought the number of the aircraft type in its fleet to 20. As for the narrowbodies, a significant airline customer was China Eastern Airlines, which received a new Airbus A320neo from the Airbus Delivery Centre in Tianjin. Then there was also Delta Air Lines, which received a shiny new A321neo from Airbus’ facility in Alabama.

While Airbus improved its monthly deliveries last month, the manufacturer also won many aircraft orders, 177 to be exact. The bulk of the orders came from the International Airlines Group (IAG) after it confirmed orders for 31 A320neos and 28 A321neos. Xiamen Airlines was the next bulk order, having been approved for an additional 25 A320neos and 15 A321neos.

The remaining orders then came from Air Canada for 15 A220-300s, Jet2 for 35 A320neos, and 28 A321neos for an undisclosed customer. After accounting for the deliveries and 14 cancelations in October, Airbus delivered a significant 497 aircraft to 72 customers this year. However, the number was later finalized to 495 after excluding two Aeroflot deliveries canceled due to sanctions against Russia.

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Air Canada Airbus A220-300

Optimism for the remainder of the year

With the final number down to 495, Airbus has to deliver at least 205 aircraft within the next two months to reach its year-end target of 700 handovers, which was already downgraded from the initial goal of 720 aircraft in July. Admittedly, that would require the European planemaker to deliver at least 103 aircraft in November and December, quite a sprint from its delivery numbers this past year.

Supply chain issues and labor shortages have prevented Airbus from speeding up production further, and airlines have questioned aircraft delivery delays. However, Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury said that Airbus is hopeful of achieving its objective, especially since the manufacturer is currently receiving a steady supply of engines.

The receiving of engines significantly reduces the number of completed but inoperable aircraft, specifically for the A320 family, as Airbus wants to boost the output rate to 65 aircraft per month in early 2024. Furthermore, Faury emphasizes that Airbus has experienced a similar backloaded year-end production in 2018, and objectives were met then, meaning that similar goals can also be completed this year.

A321XLR, second test aircraft first flight

Photo: Airbus

Bottom line

Regardless of whether or not Airbus reaches its 2022 handover target of 700 aircraft, the year alone has proven fruitful for the manufacturer with the continuing order numbers. Airbus has also seen major wins against rival Boeing, as it won over several Chinese carriers this year. Albeit Airbus has been leading the race for most of this year, anything can happen within the next two months. It would be curious to see which planemaker eventually comes out on top.

Do you think Airbus can achieve its goal of 700 handovers by the year-end? Let us know in the comments below.

  • rsz_airbus_50th_years_anniversary_formation_flight_-_air_to_air


    Stock Code:

    Date Founded:

    Guillaume Faury

    Headquarters Location:
    Toulouse, France

    Key Product Lines:
    Airbus A220, Airbus A320, Airbus A330, Airbus A340, Airbus A350, Airbus A380

    Business Type:


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