Airbus deliveries plummet

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Airbus deliveries dropped 80% to 14 aircraft in April, compared with a year earlier, as operations were hit by the coronavirus crisis, company data showed.

Handovers, down from 70 aircraft in April 2019, included two wide-body jets one an A350 for Japan Air Lines. The other was internal for an A330 to be converted into a military tanker.

Demand for jetliners, especially oversupplied twin aisle models, slumped as airlines hold back on deliveries over financial concerns and European lockdowns and travel restrictions make it difficult for inspection teams.

Airbus is operating a split shift system divided into teams to slow the spread of the epidemic.

The planemaker sold nine single aisle aircraft to Irish lessor Avolon in April. These replace nine previously cancelled by the same firm for earlier delivery – highlighting moves to save cash and postpone capital spending.

Avolon is planning for a lengthy downturn in demand following the industry’s worst crisis.

So far in 2020, Airbus delivered 136 aircraft, down from 232 at the same stage of 2019.

It sold 365 with 66 cancellations for a net order total of 299 airplanes.