Airbus Slow Week at the Dubai Airshow Isn’t All Gloom & Doom

Airbus Slow Week at the Dubai Airshow Isn't All Gloom & Doom
Photo Credit: Harrison Rowe/AviationSource

Airbus’ slow week at the Dubai Airshow isn’t all doom and gloom when you look at how things are going outside of the event.

All you have to do is look at the manufacturer’s progress throughout 2023 so far to be able to make this strong assessment.

Without further ado, let’s get into it…

Away from the Dubai Airshow: Airbus Order Numbers Have Been Strong This Year…

Airbus Slow Week at the Dubai Airshow Isn't All Gloom & Doom
Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource

When it comes to events such as the Dubai Airshow, a lot of focus is placed on the sales momentum by manufacturers, especially with the other big two events at the Farnborough Air Show and the Paris Air Show.

However, all you need to do is rewind yourself back to June when Airbus scored 850 units sold in Le Bourget, trumping Boeing by around 491 units.

In the planemaker’s nine month update, which was released last week, a total of 1,280 gross orders (1,241 net) had been secured over that period, which is quite the increase from 856 aircraft in the same period last year.

So when you look at it that way, are you surprised that they are having a quiet week? They have done so much this year already.

Of course, there has been significant focus on the capture of the Middle East market at the Dubai Airshow, but with their backlog being at close if not over 8,000 aircraft, that’s a lot of uncaptured revenue still to make.

In comparison, Boeing’s backlog is over 5,000 aircraft, so of course you are going to see more sales momentum from the American planemaker at this stage.

Things Are Ramping Up on the Production Front…

Airbus Slow Week at the Dubai Airshow Isn't All Gloom & Doom
Photo Credit: Joris Wendt/AviationSource

Also mentioned in their nine-month update was information about production rates increasing for next year, which is a step in the right direction for Airbus, if you look away from the Dubai Airshow once again.

Such updates are as follows:

  • A350 production to increase to 10 per month by 2026.
  • A330neo production to increase to four per month by 2024.
  • A220 production to increase to 14 per month by 2026.
  • A320 production increase on target to 75 per month by 2026.

Despite the chance of Airbus not meeting it’s delivery target of 720 jets this year, they seem to be projecting themselves for the long-term as opposed to the short-term environment we have been in due to COVID.

The European planemaker said back in June that it plans to recruit 13,000 personnel by the year-end, which is a substantial investment in recruitment.

This has allowed the likes of the Tianjin factory to deliver it’s first aircraft, amongst other items.

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Deliveries Remain The Priority?

Airbus Slow Week at the Dubai Airshow Isn't All Gloom & Doom
Photo Credit: Harrison Rowe/AviationSource

Deliveries will remain the priority for Airbus, which is why we aren’t seeing as many orders come from the Dubai Airshow.

The production rates mentioned above highlight the importance to meet delivery slots as we progress through to the second half of this decade.

Such initiatives will be down to blockbuster orders this year announced, such as easyJet firming up for another 157 Airbus aircraft, with options for more than 100 jets on top of that, as well as the incredible order produced with IndiGo for 500 aircraft.

With a very big backlog to address, this is why the Dubai Airshow hasn’t been all doom and gloom for Airbus.

Under the leadership of sales chief Christian Scherer, who is getting a promotion this January, it hasn’t been an easy ride from the media, but he has been able to secure the European’s planemaker into the long-term. And that is important.

Overall: Things Are Bigger for Airbus Than the Dubai Airshow…

Photo Credit: Harrison Rowe/AviationSource

Whilst Airbus has had a slow week at the Dubai Airshow, it doesn’t mean it’s all doom and gloom for the European planemaker.

When you look at their efforts over the course of this year, it has been a very strong nine to 11 months for the manufacturer.

All eyes will be on how they finish the year off, especially with the confirmation of the Turkish Airlines order for 350+ Airbus aircraft agreed in principle in Istanbul last weekend.

There is also the battle for a substantial narrowbody order with Saudi start-up carrier Riyadh Air, who are looking to make a 300-400 strong purchase.

So, when you can deconstruct things, it isn’t as bad as it seems for the European planemaker, with the Dubai Airshow being more about presence in just a week than the whole of 2023.

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By James Field - Editor in Chief 6 Min Read
6 Min Read
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