Airbus deliveries fell 6% in May amid supply chain pressure

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

PARIS (Reuters) – Airbus confirmed on Wednesday it delivered 6% fewer airplanes in May, compared to the same month last year, as the aerospace industry wrestles with tight supply chains.

It delivered 47 jets, bringing the total for the year so far to 235, up 7% from the first five months of 2021. The announcement confirms a Reuters report last week that Airbus had delivered approximately 47 jets in May.

Deliveries included 37 of the A320-family single-aisle aircraft that make up the bulk of the company’s income, suggesting that Airbus added to a backlog of undelivered planes based on its latest announced production rate of 50 a month.

Airbus gave the estimate in a recent legal filing in a dispute with Qatar Airways, but some suppliers say the Omicron fallout and gaps in supplies have kept a global parts network running closer to the mid-40s per month for the time being.

Airbus has said it wants to lift A320 output to 65 a month by the middle of next year, propelled by a brisk recovery in medium-haul travel. Beyond that it aims for 75 a month by 2025.

“It is not the breakthrough Airbus would have wanted,” one supply chain source said of the May deliveries. Airbus is targeting a total of 720 commercial deliveries this year.

Chief Executive Guillaume Faury said on Tuesday that Airbus remains confident in its future output projections.

In new business, Airbus reported 13 orders for jets including four more A350s from Turkish Airlines, which announced last month it was ordering six of the planes.

So far this year Airbus has sold 364 airplanes or 191 after cancellations. As of the end of April, Boeing had sold 213 jets or 157 after comparable cancellations.

(Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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