Airbus delivered 534 commercial aircraft and booked 1,419 net orders in 2011, making it the most successful year in the company’s history, and the 10th year in a row with a production increase.
The aircraft manufacturer delivered planes to 88 customers including 10 new airlines, and claims that its emissions-busting A320neo was the “fastest selling airliner ever”.
It beats arch rival Boeing who earlier this month announced 805 net orders and 477 planes delivered in the year.
The 534 deliveries beat the previous record set in 2010 by 24 aircraft. Deliveries include a new record for 421 single aisle aircraft (401 in 2010), 87 A330 Family (87 in 2010) and 26 A380s (18 in 2010).
The Airbus A380, the world’s biggest airliner, had a strong end of year, with four deliveries in December. Airbus Military also delivered a record number of 29 aircraft (20 light and medium military and transport aircraft – C212, CN235 and C295, three P-3 conversion aircraft and 6 A330 MRTTs).
Airbus confirmed a record order intake of 1,608 (1,419 net) commercial aircraft, worth $169 billion gross ($140 billion net) at list prices. The previous record was in 2007 (1,458 gross and 1,341 net orders).
In value terms, Airbus’ share of total global sales of aircraft above 100 seats in 2011, is 54% net. Despite challenging markets, Airbus Military won five new orders for its light and medium aircraft (CN235 and C295).
Net commercial orders include 19 for the A380, 52 A330/A350 XWB Family aircraft, and 1,348 A320 Family aircraft. Of these, the A320neo won 1,226 firm sales confirming its title as the “the fastest selling airliner ever”.
It wasn’t all good news for the Toulouse-based plane maker, however. The order backlog is 4,437 aircraft valued at over $588 billion at list prices, or equalling about eight years production.
There have been concerns at how the company will be able to deliver this order book on schedule, as both it and rival Boeing seek to increase production from a supply base already at full tilt.
The military backlog stands at 222 aircraft, including 174 A400M, 22 A330 MRTT, 18 light and medium and eight P-3 conversions.
Airbus continues to recruit for aircraft development programmes, as well as the ramp up of all aircraft families. In 2011, 4,500 new employees were hired, increasing the active workforce to 55,000, and we target more than 4,000 in 2012.
Tom Enders, Airbus president and CEO said: “Airbus’ record order intake is the result of our strategic decision for A320neo. With this innovation we established a new industry standard, appreciated by our customers and followed by the competition. With a solid backlog and an excellent cash position we are well prepared for the future.
However, he warned: “The continuous ramp-up to unprecedented production rates in all programmes will demand a strong focus on the supply chain and our own delivery capabilities. The hiring of more than 4,000 skilled people in 2012 will further support achieving this goal.”