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A350 maturity and A320neo recovery lift Airbus second quarter

Airbus is crediting the A350 programme and the gradual recovery of A320neo deliveries for a strong second quarter, in which commercial aircraft adjusted earnings more than doubled to €908 million ($1.06 billion).

But the airframer warns that “risks remain” to meet the “challenging” delivery target of 800 aircraft this year – a figure which does not include the newly-acquired A220 programme, with which Airbus is separately aiming to reach 18 deliveries in the second half.

Commercial aircraft revenues were up by 13% in the second quarter but only 2%, to €18.5 billion, over the first half.

Chief executive Tom Enders says the first-half financial results reflect the combination of drag from the A320neo troubles over the first few months combined with a “strong improvement” on the A350 programme.

“A320neo aircraft deliveries picked up during the second quarter but challenges remain to meet our full-year targets,” he says.

But he points out that more A320neos than A320s were delivered during the second quarter, illustrating that the re-engined single-aisle production effort is gaining momentum.

“Our operational focus in commercial aircraft remains squarely on securing the production ramp-up,” adds Enders.

Commercial aircraft adjusted earnings for the first half rose to €867 million from the previous interim level of €257 million.

“Engine manufacturers are working to meet their commitments and resources and capabilities have been mobilised internally,” says Airbus, reiterating that the number of parked engineless A320neos is continuing to decline.

A350 deliveries over the first half included the first -1000s, handed over to Qatar Airways and Cathay Pacific.

Airbus says “good progress” has been made on A350 recurring costs as the programme edges towards its year-end production target of 10 aircraft per month. “The A350’s industrial system is now reaching a mature level with the focus remaining on recurring cost convergence,” it adds.

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