Airbus recorded a net-order total of 833 aircraft in 2012, comfortably exceeding its sales target of 650 aircraft for the year and adding $96 billion of business overall to its order backlog, going by list-price value.
Additionally, Airbus delivered a company record of 588 aircraft to 89 customers (17 of them new) and won 914 gross orders in all, cancellations of orders for 81 aicraft pulling the total for the year back to the 833 figure.
The Toulouse-based manufacturer’s gross-order total included orders for 305 Airbus A320-family jets, 478 A320neo-family aircraft, 80 A330s, two A340s, 40 A350 XWBs and nine A380s.
Airbus’ 2012 net orders of 833 aircraft included 739 A320-family aircraft, taking its single-aisle orders past the milestone 9,000-aircraft mark. Of the 2012 single-aisle net orders, 478 were for Airbus A320neo-family jets.
According to Airbus, in terms of firm orders the A320neo family has achieved a 62 per cent share of its market segment since the program was launched. However, Boeing launched its 737 MAX program nine months later than Airbus launched the A320neo program and at this stage after its launch the Boeing 737 MAX family has accumulated firm orders for about as many aircraft as did the A320neo family in the same amount of time.
In the widebody market, Airbus achieved 2012 net orders for 58 A330s and 27 A350 XWB widebodies. The A350-1000 won endorsements from leading airlines through significant upsizing of orders. In the very large aircraft (VLA) segment, Airbus won nine out of the 10 aircraft ordered net, in what both Airbus and Boeing admitted was a bad year for VLA sales.
Although Airbus’ net-order and delivery totals for 2012 fell below those of Boeing, which achieved net orders of 1,203 aircraft and delivered 601 during the year, the Toulouse company’s 4,682-aircraft order backlog as of December 31 exceeded Boeing’s commercial-jet backlog of 4,373 by more than 300 aircraft.
According to Airbus, its 2012 year-end order backlog represents a new industry record. Airbus values its commercial-jet order backlog at $638 billion at list prices.
The company’s 2012 orders included a spate of deals signed by as-yet-undisclosed customers in late December. Three Airbus A330-300 widebodies were ordered on December 23 and 60 Airbus A320-family jets – 12 A319s, 16 A320s and 32 A3321s – on December 31.
It is not clear if all these A320-family aircraft were ordered by one customer or several; or if the aircraft ordered were all current-generation A320-family jets, A320neo-family aircraft or a mix of both.
According to Airbus, its 2012 delivery total was 10 per cent higher than the 534 aircraft it delivered in 2011, its previous record year for deliveries. Additionally, 2012 was the 11th year in a row of increased production by the manufacturer.
The 455 single-aisle aircraft Airbus delivered in 2012 overtook its 421 single-aisle-aircraft total in 2011 and comfortably topped Boeing’s 2012 single-aisle total of 415 deliveries.
Airbus widebody deliveries reached 103 aircraft in 2012 (the company delivered 87 in 2011), a new in-house record for the company. However, Boeing easily topped Airbus in 2012 on widebody deliveries, achieving a delivery total of 186 widebodies.
According to Airbus, its increasing widebody delivery figures reflect the sales success of the A330 family, which Airbus is now producing at its highest monthly production rates ever for the family (9.5 a month in 2012, rising to 10 in spring 2013).
The company achieved its 2012 Airbus A380-delivery target of 30 aircraft, setting a new company record for the type – Airbus delivered 26 A380s in 2011 – even though for most of the year it had looked like the manufacturer would be unable to meet the target.
The Europe-based manufacturer calculates its 2012 share of total sales by value for commercial aircraft above 100 seats was 41 per cent gross and 41.5 per cent net.
In 2012, the Airbus A350 XWB final assembly line became fully operational, the manufacturer completed structural assembly of the first A350 XWB that will fly and “electrical power on” of the aircraft was accomplished.
Airbus Military delivered 29 aircraft during the year:20 light and medium military transport, aircraft four Lockheed P-3 Orion conversions and five A330 Multi Role Tanker Transports.
The company says it exceeded its order target despite difficult global conditions, achieving sale of 32 aircraft (28 C295 transports and four CN235s). Additionally, the A330 MRTT was selected as the preferred bidder by the Indian Government.
The Airbus A400M Atlas tactical airlifter achieved 300 hours of function and reliability testing, leading towards expected civil and military certification in the first quarter of 2013 and first delivery in the second quarter. Four A400Ms are scheduled for delivery by the end of the year.
Currently four A400Ms are in final assembly and a further 13 are in production. Airbus Military’s backlog stands at 220 aircraft: 174 A400Ms, 17 A330 MRTTs, five CN235s, 20 C295s and four P-3 conversions.
Airbus recruited 5,000 employees in 2012, increasing its global employee total to 59,000 people. The company targets recruiting some 3,000 more staffers in 2013 to support all program developments.