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Airbus has a growing backlog of undelivered passenger jets crowding the tarmac outside its factories, which is putting pressure on its cash generation this year. More than two dozen A320neos are waiting for Pratt & Whitney engines to be installed, and some plane spotters say that Airbus is running out of room. Only five NEOs have been delivered and several airlines announced delays in taking their planes. Qatar Airways is so angry that it is talking about cancelling its whole order for 50 A320neos and replacing them with 737NGs immediately and 737 MAXs later. 

Aviation analysts say that the problem could tie up around €1 billion ($1.14 billion) in cash this year. Boeing had the same problem with its early model 787s several years ago and is only now finding customers to take the planes. Airbus declined to comment except to say it remained confident of meeting its published delivery targets. Further, the output of the company’s assembly lines is not being disrupted, which means more engineless A320s in the near future.

Adding to its woes, several Airbus customers officially took delivery of A320ceo Family aircraft but the planes were flown to Spain for storage.

Airbus Increased its Average List Prices

Airbus Increased its Average List Prices by 1.1 Percent across its product line. The new prices came into effect on January 1, 2016. The price increase was calculated according to Airbus’ standard escalation formula over the January 2015 to January 2016 period and takes into account the drop in materials and commo-dities prices. John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers, said, “Our new 2016 price increase reflects the strong appetite from customers around the globe for Airbus’ comprehensive, modern and innovative product range. We see demand for our aircraft contin-uing to grow across all size categories as our reliable, efficient product line enables custo-mers to grow their businesses profitably as well as being favored by passengers who want to travel in the most comfortable cabins.” Airbus has sold 16,307 aircraft to more than 380 customers worldwide, and 9,520 aircraft have been delivered.

Airbus Aircraft 2016 Average List Prices in Millions.

A318 $75.1, A319 $89.6, A319neo $98.5,

A320 $98.0, A320neo $107.3, A321 $114.9,

A321neo $125.7, A330-200 $231.5,

A330-800 $252.3, A330-200F $234.7,

A330-300 $256.4, A330-900 $287.7,

A350-800 $272.4, A350-900 $308.1,

A350-1000 $355.7, A380-800 $432.6

The prices depend on design weights, engine choices and level of selected customisation.

Airbus sales

Airbus Sold 60 Aircraft in December, bringing the year’s net orders to 1,036, from 53 customers, including eight new ones. It sold 897 single-aisle aircraft and 139 widebodies. Airbus reached an industry record backlog of 6,787 aircraft as of December 31, with a combined value of $996.3 billion at list prices, and equaling 10 years of production at current rates. Airbus delivered a record 79 jetliners to customers raising the 2015 total to a new annual record of 635 deliveries.

The Manufacturer Sold 36 A320neo Family (New Engine Option) versions of the A319, A320 and A321, and three A320ceo (Current Engine Option) aircraft. Turkish Airlines firmed-up its commitment for 20 A321neo aircraft, which were added to the 72 A321neos it ordered previously. The International Airlines Group (IAG) purchased five A320neo aircraft each for its subsidiaries, British Airways, Iberia, and Vueling, while an unnamed private operator acquired the first ACJ319neo Airbus Corporate Jet. China Aircraft Leasing (CALC) bought two A320ceo aircraft, and Air New Zealand contracted for its 18th A320ceo. An “Unidentified Customer” (All Nippon Airways) placed orders for three flagship A380s and another Unidentified Customer signed up for two A350-900s. AirAsia X switched previous 11 A330-300 commitments for the new A330-900 New Engine Option type. It no longer has any A330-300s in backlog. South Africa Airways cancelled its last 10 A320ceo orders and purchased five A330-300s instead.

Airbus delivered 55 A320 Family aircraft, 17 A330s, four A350s (including the initial A350-900 for TAM Airlines), and three A380s to Emirates in December. The European airframer handed over a record 635 aircraft during 2015, and it exceeded its targets for the year. This marked the 13th consecutive annual increase in output. Airbus delivered 491 A320 Family aircraft, 103 A330s, 27 A380s, and 14 A350 XWBs to 85 customers, of which 10 were new. This production surpassed the previous yearly delivery record of 629 aircraft set in 2014.

Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO said that 2015 was a year of solid and wide-ranging accomplishments. The A320neo was certified by the aviation authorities on both sides of the Atlantic just five years after its launch. In addition, Airbus delivered 14 A350s – making good its pledge to the airlines who are now benefitting from the world’s most efficient and advanced airliner. Important progress was also made on the A350 program’s next variant, the A350-1000, whose major components and structures are now taking shape across various production sites. Likewise, parts are now in production for the first A330neo, with the machining of its first engine pylon and center wing-box components. In addition, there has been good news for the flagship A380, 10 years after its first flight, with the program breaking-even for the first time. Another notable high-light was the official opening of the first U.S. Airbus factory at Mobile, Alabama, in September. It will produce between 40 and 50 A320 Family aircraft annually by 2018. On the other side of the globe in China, additional orders for the A330 not only complements our plans for a new A330 completion and delivery center in Tianjin, but also helps to smooth our transition towards the A330neo. Furthermore, in 2015 Airbus launched three new incremental aircraft developments which include the Long-Range version of the A321neo which will offer true transAtlantic operation, the Regional version of the A330 which is optimized to seat up to 400 passengers on missions up to 3,000 nm, and the Ultra-Long-Range ver-sion of the A350-900, capable of 19-hour flights, Mr Brégier said.

The International Airlines Group (IAG) has firmed up options for a further 15 A320neos. Five each will be delivered to IAG’s subsidiaries, British Airways, Iberia, and Vue-ling. John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer, Customers, said, “IAG is one of the biggest customers for Airbus single aisle aircraft and demonstrates the preference of our products amongst the world’s lead-ing airlines.” In November, IAG ordered 12 A320neos and three A321neos for Iberia, and those air-craft orders will be filled between 2018 and 2021. The group has pur-chased 47 A320neos and three A321neos between August and the end of 2015.

Turkish Airlines confirmed options for 20 Airbus A321neos in Decem-ber. The flag carrier already has 72 A321neos and 13 A321ceos on order, and 55 A321ceos in service. The 20 newest A321neos will be handed over in 2020 and 2021. Turkish said it has delayed 17 A321neo deliveries from 2017 and 2018 until 2021 and 2022. The air-line is set to add three A330Fs, five A330-300s and 10 777-300ERs as well. By 2021, the Turkish fleet will total more than 430 units, comprised of 350 narrowbodies, 95 passenger widebodies and 10 widebody freighters.

The Year 2015 Was by Far the Safest Year

The Year 2015 Was by Far the Safest Year on Record judged by the number of fatal accidents and it was the fifth safest year ever in terms of fatalities. This comes even though traffic boomed and the jet fleet grew by approximately 1,200 new airplanes. There were 16 fatal airliner accidents that killed 560 people according to the Aviation Safety Network (ASN). The year was marred by several high profile accidents, including the intentional crash of Germanwings Flight 9525. The Airbus A320 crashed in France on March 25, when the pilot apparently committed suicide by flying the plane into the ground, also killing the other 149 people on board. The worst accident of the year happened on October 31 when a Metrojet Airbus A321 was allegedly destroyed by a bomb over the Sinai Desert, and 224 passengers and crew were killed. Seven of the 16 accidents involved passenger flights. These were the only two fatal accidents involving jet airliners. The rest were regional turboprops, with the exception of the crash of one A400M during a test flight. Three of the turboprops were an ATR 42, an ATR 72 and an Antonov An-12 cargo plane. The other 10 were 19-seat or smaller commuter aircraft. ICAO estimated that there were 34 million flights worldwide and the fatal accident rate is one per 4,857,000 passenger flights. ASN President Harro Ranter said, “Since 1997, the average number of airliner accidents has shown a steady and persistent decline, for a great deal thanks to the continuing safety-driven efforts by international aviation organizations such as ICAO, IATA, Flight Safety Foundation and the aviation industry.”

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