Fewer deliveries impact Airbus Q1 results

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Airbus has posted first-quarter consolidated revenue down 21% from €7.43 billion ($10.13 billion) to €5.88 billion reflecting fewer aircraft deliveries.

The manufacturer delivered 116 aircraft compared to 123 in the same period in 2008 after ending the first four months of 2009 with net orders for fewer than a dozen aircraft. It also cites "price deterioration" on delivered aircraft, lower volume and "an unfavourable product mix," as well as increased support activity costs.

Airbus received just eight net commercial aircraft orders in the first three months of 2009, compared to 395 in the corresponding period in 2008, although it did secure an order for a further two A380s from Korean Air.

As of 31 March this year, Airbus' consolidated order book was valued at €365.4 billion based on list prices. The order book for commercial aircraft amounted to 3,607 units.

Airbus is reducing its A320-family production rate to 34 aircraft per month from October this year. Its A330/340 rate is currently around 8.5 aircraft per month, while the airframer has just cut back its delivery rate of A380s this year to 14 jets.

Speaking at a briefing in Hamburg yesterday, Airbus chief operating officer for customers John Leahy confined himself to noting that he did not expect aircraft orders "to be under 100." Leahy had previously estimated 2009 gross orders of 300-400 aircraft.