Airbus 9 month performance: Robust demand continues

An Airbus A321XLR in flight.
Photo Credit: Airbus

Airbus SE has reported consolidated financial results for the nine months ended 30 September 2023. The report shows a strong year-on-year growth in aircraft sales with a firm order backlog.

Commercial Aircraft Orders

Airbus’s nine-month journey in 2023 has been rather impressive. With a total of 1,280 gross commercial aircraft orders, a significant leap from the 856 aircraft in the same period last year, the aerospace giant is dominating the skies.

Net orders stand at 1,241 aircraft after cancellations, underscoring a robust demand that shows no signs of waning.

Interior of upgraded Air Canada A321.
Photo Credit: CNW Group/Air Canada

Order Backlog

At the close of September 2023, the order backlog reached a staggering 7,992 commercial aircraft. This not only speaks volumes about the current demand but also positions Airbus for sustained success in the foreseeable future.


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Deliveries and Revenue Surge

The delivery figures are equally impressive, with 488 commercial aircraft reaching their destinations, a notable increase from the 437 aircraft in the same period last year.

This uptick in deliveries contributed to a 12% year-on-year increase in consolidated revenues, reaching €42.6 billion.

Segment-wise Performance

Commercial Aircraft Activities

The heart of Airbus’s success lies in its commercial aircraft activities. Revenues in this segment saw an 18% increase, propelled by a higher number of deliveries.

EBIT Adjusted for this sector rose to €3,216 million, reflecting both increased deliveries and a more favorable hedge rate.

Helicopters Take Flight

Airbus Helicopters saw a slight increase in deliveries to 197 units, contributing to a 3% rise in revenues.

EBIT Adjusted for this segment increased to €417 million, showcasing the overall robust performance across programs and services.

Defence and Space Challenges

However, Airbus Defence and Space faced a 6% decrease in revenues, attributed to a backloaded A400M delivery profile and updated Estimates at Completion of certain satellite development programs.

EBIT Adjusted for this sector decreased to €-1 million.

Celebrating 10 Years of Excellence: The Airbus A220 Program
Photo Credit: Airbus.

Future Flight Plan

The future for Airbus looks promising. The A220 program is set to reach a monthly production rate of 14 aircraft by 2026, while the A320 Family program is on track to produce 75 aircraft per month in the same year.

The A321XLR is progressing toward certification, with an expected entry-into-service date in Q2 2024.

On widebody aircraft, Airbus plans to increase the production rate for the A350 to 10 aircraft a month in 2026, with the A330 targeting rate 4 in 2024.

In response to the evolving defence and security landscape, Airbus has initiated a transformation in its Defence and Space division.

This strategic move aims to adapt ways of working, enhance program execution, and rebalance risks and opportunities to ensure end-to-end accountability.

“We continue to make progress on our operational plan in a global environment that has become increasingly complex.”

“The nine-month earnings reflect higher commercial aircraft deliveries, the good performance in helicopters as well as charges linked to the reassessment of certain satellite development programmes,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus Chief Executive Officer.

“Demand for our commercial aircraft is very strong with a continuing recovery in the widebody market. We expect the supply chain to remain challenging as we progress on the production ramp-up. In that context, we maintain our guidance for the full year,” he concluded.

Outlook Summary

Entering the close-out to the calendar year, the guidance issued in February 2023 is maintained.

As the basis for its 2023 guidance, Airbus assumes no additional disruptions to the world economy, air traffic, the supply chain, the Company’s internal operations, and its ability to deliver products and services.

On that basis, the Company targets to achieve in 2023 around:

  • 720 commercial aircraft deliveries;
  • EBIT Adjusted of € 6.0 billion;
  • Free Cash Flow before M&A and Customer Financing of € 3.0 billion.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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