Airbus reports flat first-half deliveries

FILE PHOTO: The Airbus logo pictured at the company's headquarters in Blagnac near Toulouse

By Tim Hepher

PARIS (Reuters) -Europe’s Airbus posted flat first-half deliveries on Friday as it struggles to convert rising production plans into handovers to airlines amid tight global supply chains.

The world’s largest planemaker said it delivered 60 commercial airplanes in June, bringing the total for the year so far to 297, unchanged from the halfway point last year.

“Airbus appears impacted by some production constraints,” said Jefferies analyst Chloe Lemarie, who had earlier predicted the 21% year-on-year drop in June deliveries to 60 airplanes.

Airbus needs to boost second-half deliveries by 35% to reach its full-year target of 720 units, she said in an investor note.

Airbus posted an adjusted net total of 295 first-half deliveries after deducting two jets originally destined for Russia’s Aeroflot that it had booked last year.

On the demand side, Airbus reported 442 orders, or a net total of 259 after cancellations in the first half, up sharply from 38 net orders at the same point last year.

That included seven A350 Freighters to at least one undisclosed buyer. Airbus also booked a recently announced major order for 52 jets to Australia’s Qantas, including 12 wide-bodies amid signs of a pickup in demand for large models.

Delta Air Lines topped up a fleet of A330neo jets with one extra order. The U.S. major is widely expected to announce an order for some 100 Boeing 737 MAX 10 in coming days, following talks first reported by Reuters.

Airbus confirmed that it had cancelled an order for an undelivered A350 for Qatar Airways, bringing the total number of A350 orders revoked as part of a legal dispute with the airline to four.

A fifth jet is expected to be cancelled later this month.

Airbus also reported two A350 cancellations from one or more airlines whose names have not been disclosed.

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad cancelled orders for six A321neos, according to a breakdown of outstanding business.

Boeing is expected to issue first-half data on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Jan Harvey and Leslie Adler)