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Airbus absorbs A220s to maintain 800-jet delivery target

Airbus has rejigged its A330neo delivery schedule after Rolls-Royce admitted it would fall short on Trent 7000 engine deliveries, but the airframer is still maintaining a target of 800 aircraft deliveries.

But this target now includes 18 A220s, whereas Airbus had previously intended to deliver 800 aircraft excluding the A220 contribution.

Airbus concedes that, even with this switch, the delivery target is becoming a “greater stretch”.

The A330neo engine supply issue, it says, adds further pressure to its own “internal industrial challenges” – reportedly centred on A321neo production – as the company continues to deal with the backlog of engineless A320neos.

“We still have a lot to do to meet our commitments,” says chief executive Tom Enders in a third-quarter results disclosure – the first quarter since consolidation of the A220.

Enders says commercial aircraft deliveries and A320neo-family ramp-up remain the “primary operational focus”.

Airbus adds that it its working to resolve “certain commercial challenges” on the baseline A330 and A380 programmes, which it intends to complete by the end of this year.

The airframer is maintaining a full-year adjusted earnings forecast of €5 billion, including a “lower expected reduction” in this figure arising from the A220 inclusion.

Airbus had previously indicated, in its half-year results, that the A220 would reduce full-year adjusted earnings by €200 million, to €5 billion.

It says the net cash impact of A220 integration will be “largely covered” by funding arrangements made during the acquisition of the programme, meaning “limited” cash dilution.

Airbus’ adjusted earnings for its commercial aircraft division at the nine-month stage trebled to €2.34 billion, with revenues increasing by 11% to €30.5 billion.

Its third-quarter performance has benefited, it says, from improvements to ramp-up on the A320neo-family programme and good progress on the A350 programme.

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