Airbus delivered 688 aircraft in 2016, a company record and the 14th consecutive year that its deliveries went up. The delivery total, up from 635 aircraft handed over in 2015, comprised 545 A320 Family jets (of which 68 were A320neos), 49 A350 XWBs, 66 A330s and 28 A380s. More than 40% of the A320 Family deliveries were A321s.
In the company’s annual media briefing where it announced the numbers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft President and CEO Fabrice Brégier confirmed more production ramp-ups, which will further boost delivery numbers. Airbus plans to produce ten A350s per month by 2018 and 60 A320 Family jets a month by mid-2019. He said a fourth A320 final assembly line in Hamburg will open by mid-year, joining the existing facilities in Toulouse, Mobile and Tianjin. Despite the record deliveries, orders declined. Airbus secured 731 net orders in 2016, down from the 1,080 net orders of 2015. John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer – Customers, told the press conference that orders in 2017 would “most likely not” increase, but added that, “there has always been an orders cycle in this industry”. He said Airbus is “essentially sold out” until 2021 and that, “we have to build what we already have orders for, not worry about getting new orders”. Airbus’s backlog stands at 6,874 aircraft.