Airbus Remained Largest Planemaker in 2022
- Airbus was again the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer in 2022. The planemaker delivered a net 661 commercial aircraft, including an impressive 516 A320neo family models, to operators last year. That compares to 480 aircraft deliveries at Boeing, which faced a number of challenges last year, including the suspension of 787 deliveries until August. Despite the strong numbers, Airbus missed its target of 700 aircraft deliveries in 2022 by almost 40 planes. Both Airbus and Boeing face supply chain and other issues boosting aircraft production rates in 2023.
- Lessor Aircastle said in its earnings call last week that it’s “seeing steady requests for lease extensions on our planes.” That’s a sign of improving demand as Asian airline markets start to recover. “The China situation,” however, is “still volatile.” The company sees supply chain issues still impacting the ability of aircraft and engine manufacturers to build and deliver planes. They’re still taking new orders though, and airlines will ultimately have to turn to lessors to meet their capacity needs, Aircastle said. “Demand exceeds supply for new narrowbody passenger aircraft.” Executives warned that industry risks remain, with many airlines still burdened by a relatively strong dollar and high fuel prices, notwithstanding recent easing. The new year “also presents the risk of recession as inflation and interest rates remain elevated.” But Aircastle adds: “Favorable travel volumes continue despite these headwinds.”
- Boeing’s 737 Max unceremoniously returned to revenue service in China last week. On January 13, China Southern Airlines operated two aircraft on two flights for the first time since 2019. The carrier operated the duo of 737-8s on a flight between Guangzhou and both Wuhan and Zhengzhou, according to FlightRadar24.