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Airbus backlog at end 2014 into perspective

Last Friday, Airbus Group announced its 2014 full year financial results at a press conference in Munich (Germany). You can find here [PDF, 785KB] the presentation used at the conference. In general, the results have been very positive in most metrics. There is one that in my opinion especially deserves attention, see it bellow:

AIRBUS 2014 results - backlog.

AIRBUS 2014 results – backlog.

Airbus has a record backlog of 6,386 civil aircraft.

In 2014, Airbus delivered 629 commercial aircraft. That is why, in the presentation it is stated “> 10 years of deliveries”. In essence, one may see it as if Airbus airplanes were sold out for the next 10 years! Of course, that is not the case for all product lines (think A330, A380) and will not be the case as a production ramp-up is announced in the A320ceo line.

Nevertheless, to put it into perspective, I wanted to compare this backlog to the historical aircraft deliveries of Airbus (which can be found here). Since its first delivery, an A300B2 back in May 1974, through the end of January 2015, Airbus had delivered 8,921 aircraft. With the information of yearly deliveries I compiled the graphic below, yearly per model and cumulative deliveries for all models combined.

AIRBUS deliveries through January 2015.

AIRBUS deliveries through January 2015.

Take a look at the cumulative deliveries.

On the occasion of the 8,000th delivery, on August 2013 (an A320 for AirAsia) Airbus published an article making a review of all the main delivery landmarks.

  • the 1st delivery, in May 1974, an A300B2.
  • the 1,000th delivery, in March 1993, an A340-300,
  • the 2,000th handover, in May 1999, an A340-300,
  • the 3,000th delivery, in July 2002, an A320,
  • the 4,000th delivery, in September 2005, an A330-300,
  • the 5,000th delivery, in December 2007, an A330-200,
  • the 6,000th delivery, in January 2010, an A380,
  • the 7,000th handover, in December 2011, an A321,
  • the 8,000th delivery, in August 2013, an A320 featuring Sharklets,
  • the 9,000th delivery… somewhere in the Spring 2015.

You can see that since the first delivery in 1974, it took Airbus almost 19 years to deliver the first 1,000 aircraft.

It took over 35 years to deliver the first 6,000 aircraft. That is what today it has as backlog…

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