The President and Chief Executive of Airbus (EPA:AIR), Fabrice Bregier says he is expecting the production flow to be smoother this year. He said this while speaking to the press on Wednesday amid reports that the company has achieved a record number of deliveries last month, thanks to a last-minute sales surge.
In late December, Airbus delivered a record 170 aircrafts, 98 of them to Iran Air, and the remaining 72 to India’s Go Airlines. Plus, there have been two other transactions of 132 narrow-bodies where the company hasn’t yet disclosed the identity of the buyer. Because of these last-minute purchases, Airbus could manage to retain their lead over rival Boeing, a lead they have held since 2012.
Airbus Beats Boeing Yet Again in Aircraft Sales
Airbus achieved a total number of sales of 731, while the Chicago, Illinois-based Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) reached only sell 668 planes. This is a margin of almost 10 percent, which is impressive. Airbus should be happy that they were able to beat their American rival yet again, as there were concerns earlier in 2016 that the sales target will be missed because of supply chain problems.
It should be even better for the business this year with the prediction of smoother production flow. However, Fabrice adds a word of caution, “Don’t go fast to the conclusion that this year we will maintain this delivery across 2017. We don’t intend to deliver 1,200 aircraft. He hopes that aircraft sales in 2017 will happen throughout the year, and Airbus won’t have to strike another record deal to stay ahead.
Tough First Six Months of 2016
The CEO also complained that the first half of 2016 has been very tough. In fact, both Airbus and Boeing suffered a lot because demand went down suddenly after a buying spree that lasted for about a decade, causing huge backlogs for both the businesses. To make matters worse for Airbus (EPA:AIR), there was this supply chain problem that delayed productions. John Leahy, the sales chief, however, said back then that the slowdown was not a matter of concern to him.
There were a number of issues, like the problems with the Pratt & Whitney engines that are working well now. Plus, there were cabin issues in the wide-body A350 planes too. Bregier, however, says that he is still not entirely happy with the Pratt & Whitney engines. He feels there is room for improvement here.