Fifty years ago today, the first Airbus aircraft, the A300B, the world’s first twin-engined widebody commercial aircraft, took off on its maiden flight. Today Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury presented the company’s results for the first nine months of 2022, revealing Airbus has a backlog of 7,294 commercial aircraft.

Here’s where it started

Airbus A300B

Photo: Airbus

On the financial front, the Airbus group earned consolidated revenue of €38.1 billion ($37.8 billion), an increase of 8% year-on-year. Adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) for the first nine months amounted to €3.48 billion ($3.45 billion), a 3% gain over 2021. Airbus (the commercial aircraft division) contributed €26.65 billion ($26.47 billion) in revenue and an adjusted EBIT of €2.87 billion ($2.85 billion). Commercial aircraft delivered 70% of the combined Airbus group revenue and 83% of the EBIT.

The A320 family is the backbone of Airbus

easyJet Airbus A320neo

Photo: easyJet

Airbus reported that net orders for 9m 2022 totaled 647 aircraft, an impressive change from the 133 ordered in the same period last year. The production backlog reached 7,294 at the end of the first nine months of 2022. There were 437 aircraft delivered by the end of September, compared to 424 in 9m 2021. Showing just how vital the single-aisle segment is to Airbus, there were 340 A320-family deliveries, followed by 42 A350s, 34 A220s and 21 A330s. The revenues generated by commercial aircraft activities increased by 8% year-on-year due to 13 more aircraft, a favorable product mix and the strengthening of the US dollar.

Large corporations like Airbus are very wary of making financial predictions to the market, with so many punished by the uncertainties of the pandemic. However, Airbus reaffirmed its current market guidance, which is:

“The company maintains its targets to achieve around 700 commercial aircraft deliveries and around €5.5 billion of EBIT Adjusted in 2022.”

A bit of mental arithmetic highlights that with 437 aircraft delivered by the end of September, Airbus has to get another 263 out the door by December 31st. That means an average delivery rate of 88 aircraft a month for October to December, whereas the average rate from January to September was 48. Faury is well aware of what he is signing off on, commenting:

“The commercial aircraft delivery and earnings targets are maintained. Our teams are focused on our key priorities and, in particular, delivering the commercial aircraft ramp-up over the coming months and years.”

What about production rates?

A321XLR in assembly line

Photo: Airbus

While that’s reassuring, there’s nothing about how Airbus will meet the target of 700, nor comment of any doubt on delivering the commitment. Every business sprints to the end of the year finish line, and Faury would know exactly what the plan is, but it will be fascinating to see how the next three months pan out delivery-wise.

Airbus did talk about A320 production rates, reaffirming it is progressing towards a monthly rate of 65 aircraft in early 2024 and 75 in 2025. One element is that with the A321 becoming more popular, all A320 family Final Assembly Lines (FAL) are being adapted to be A321 capable. This involves an upgrade to the second A320 FAL in Toulouse. Airbus says that all 321XLRs have flown, and the aircraft’s entry into service is expected in Q2 2024.

Widebody aircraft have not been forgotten, with Airbus working with its supply chain on production rate increases to meet growing demand as international air travel recovers. At the end of September, Airbus has 420 A350s and 213 A330s in backlog, and with some uncertainty around the launch date of Boeings’ 777X, widebody demand might even grow higher.

We have some very keen Airbus followers out there, so do you think it will deliver 700 aircraft this year?

  • 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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