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Airbus long-haul drought persists but A319neo orders lift

Airbus secured a respite from its weak A319neo sales during April, but its dearth of long-haul orders persisted.

Its latest backlog data lists an order for 22 A319neos, part of an agreement which also included five A319s.

Airbus has yet to confirm the identity of the customer, although it indicated in February that it had landed a new A319neo order from a Chinese customer.

It has also revealed that four single-aisle aircraft, ordered by and undisclosed customer in December 2014, have been switched to A319neos.

The airframer's backlog for A319neos had been dwindling, but the latest agreements lift it to 56 aircraft.

Thirty-three of those are assigned to undisclosed customers, another 20 to Avianca, with executive operators accounting for the other three.

Airbus recorded Scandinavian carrier SAS's order for 35 A320neos, and agreements for another five single-aisle jets from three other customers.

But it had little relief from its weak period of long-haul sales. While SAS agreed to take an A330-300, the single aircraft was its first twin-aisle order since 11 February and only the second deal this year.

Cancellations affecting the twin-aisle backlog mean that, four months into 2018, Airbus's net long-haul orders remain in negative figures, with a deficit of 13 aircraft.

Although Airbus has taken net orders for 99 A320-family jets, this long-haul deficit has dragged overall net orders for the first third of the year to 86 aircraft.

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