Airbus deliveries soar past targets

An Air New Zealand Airbus landing at Wellington Airport. Airbus beat a company target for deliveries last year.
An Air New Zealand Airbus landing at Wellington Airport. Airbus beat a company target for deliveries last year.

Airbus managed to beat a company target for deliveries last year by churning out almost twice the average monthly number in December, people familiar with the achievement said.

The European planemaker reached a total of about 635 and handed over 79 units in the last month of the year alone, said the people. Airbus shipped 629 planes in 2014.

Airbus spokesman Stefan Schaffrath declined to confirm the number, saying figures on both deliveries and new orders for 2015 will be disclosed at a press conference on January 12.

On the order front, Airbus had agreements in place to supply a net 1007 aircraft as of November 30, easily beating its target.

Boeing had won 743 net orders for 2015, according to the most recent figures available on its website through Dec. 22, making it highly likely that Airbus beat its rival, unless Boeing secured an order for several hundred planes in the last week of the year. Boeing had handed over 709 planes through the same period, putting the US maker well ahead on deliveries, when the bulk of payments for a plane are due.

Airbus has three factories churning out planes: in Toulouse, which assembles widebody planes, A380s and single- aisle planes; in Hamburg, producing only single-aisle A320s; and also in Tianjin, China, which normally produces four single aisle planes per month. In 2016, Airbus will start turning out single-aisle A320neos from a new plant in Mobile, Alabama.

The European planemaker's latest A350 model, which had its first handover in December 2014, achieved 14 deliveries in 2015, leaving it one short of the manufacturer's full-year target of "about 15."

The planemaker handed over fewer than 30 A380s, though the specific figures for the superjumbo, as well as for A330 wide-bodies and single-aisle planes, weren't immediately available.

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