During the six-month period from January to June 2008, Airbus achieved a healthy gross order total of 525 aircraft units and a leading market share of 52 per cent.In dollar terms, this represents a total value of $62bn, based on current list prices. The orders during this period comprise 335 A320 Family aircraft, 105 A330s, 82 A350s and three A380s. Taking into account some cancellations and transfers to the all-new A350, the 487 net orders to June this year is almost double the number of deliveries occurring in the same period, thus expanding Airbus’ order backlog by some 242 aircraft. Moreover, with additional orders to be expected during the Farnborough Air Show and beyond, this backlog will increase significantly. Overall, the number of outstanding orders for Airbus aircraft has now reached almost 3,700, translating into an equivalent of around six years’ production.
The A320 single-aisle Family consistently captures about half of all orders in its market segment. In 2008, during the six months to June, the Family gained 335 gross orders, representing about 64 per cent of all new Airbus aircraft orders in terms of units. To date there are more than 2,600 A320 Family aircraft in the outstanding order backlog. This shows that the A320 Family, which benefits from a continuous improvement programme so that it remains the most efficient product in this size category, remains very much in demand for years to come.
Moving up in size to the medium-to-long-range twin-aisle category, the highly cost-efficient A330, which has no direct competitor in production today, continues to be a strong seller, having already earned 105 orders in 2008 to the end of June. Included in this total are 11 new orders for
A330-200 Freighter bringing this programme to 77 firm orders from nine customers. The A330’s credentials and versatility were further underscored by a contract for 14 A330-200s for the UK’s Royal Air Force’s (RAF) military tanker requirement. The total outstanding backlog for A330s now stands at 425 firm orders.
Meanwhile, the new A350 XWB programme garnered a further 82 orders from January to June 2008 and its firm pre-Farnborough order backlog has now reached a robust 374 aircraft from 23 customers. This makes the A350 XWB the fastest selling wide-body aircraft ever in its first year and a half since programme launch.
The most recent pre-Farnborough order in 2008 for the eco-efficient A380 flagship came from Korean Airlines, which placed a repeat order for three aircraft, increasing its total for the type to eight. This brings current A380 programme to 192 firm orders from 16 customers, with five of these now in very reliable airline service, and with extremely high passenger acceptance. The A380 is really set to become the flagship of the 21st century.
In terms of the overall distribution of Airbus orders across all its models, the rapidly growing Asia-Pacific region accounted for a correspondingly high level of commercial activity, with 222 gross orders representing some 42 per cent of new Airbus aircraft purchases (not counting orders from lessors) during the first six months of 2008. Meanwhile, the leasing community, whose role in supplying equipment to operators worldwide continues to strongly expand, accounted for 19 per cent of all Airbus orders.