Airbus Orders Improve, Deliveries Still Slow

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After a dismal first quarter when the company logged a total of just 10 net new orders for its airplanes, Airbus reported Tuesday that it had logged a net new 82 orders in April to bring its total for the first four months of 2016 to 92.

Airbus wrote 1,080 new commercial jet orders in 2015, down from 1,456 in 2014. For 2016 the company has said it expects more than 700 net new orders.

In the first quarter, Airbus delivered 125 planes and added just 52 to that total in April. The April total includes 41 A320s, six A330s, two A30 XWBs and three A380s. The company also delivered its first U.S.-assembled A321 to JetBlue. By the end of next year, Airbus expects to deliver four planes a month from its U.S. facility in Mobile, Ala.

Airbus’s order total does not include an announced commitment for 118 new planes from Iran Air in a deal worth $27 billion. The order, when it is finalized, is expected to include 45 A320 narrow-body jets and 73 wide-bodies (A330, A350 and A380).

Through May 2, rival Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) has logged a total of 156 net new orders. The company added one order from FedEx for a 777 and orders for 15 787s from unidentified customers.

Through the month of April, Boeing reported deliveries totaling 230 new aircraft, including 54 in April.

Airbus deliveries have been hampered by a shortage of seating supplies and the production ramp for the A320neo has been slowed due to technical issues with the new geared turbofan engine from Pratt & Whitney.

The Farnborough International Airshow takes place in mid-July, and both Airbus and Boeing would like to announce some new orders in connection with the show. To be sure, the totals won’t be anything like the hundreds of new orders booked in 2013 and 2014, but adding a hundred new orders or so at Farnborough would be a big boost to both companies’ order books for 2016.