Airbus is ramping up its aircraft deliveries again as international travel restrictions are slowly eased and airlines begin to rebuild their networks.
The manufacturer delivered 57 commercial aircraft in September, compared to 71 in the same month in 2019. But the number is still significantly more than previous months in 2020, which include 14 deliveries in April, 24 in May, 36 in June, 49 in July and 39 in August.
The coronavirus pandemic and its impact on travel demand stalled Airbus’ delivery schedule earlier this year. Year to date, Airbus has delivered a total of 341 aircraft, which is a reduction of around 40% compared to the same period in 2019.
In the first three quarters of 2020, Airbus booked a total of 300 net commercial aircraft orders compared with 127 net orders in the equivalent 2019 period.
Airbus’ backlog stands at 7,441 aircraft compared to 7,133 at the same point in time last year.
One notable delivery recently was Middle East Airlines (MEA) receiving an A321neo jet with manufacturer serial number 10,000. MSN10,000. The aircraft is the third A321neo to join MEA, taking the fleet size to 18 aircraft. MEA received its first A321neo aircraft earlier in 2020 and will be taking another six A321neos over the coming months.
The handover of the aircraft took place in Toulouse in the presence of Mohamad El-Hout, director general of MEA.
“We are honoured to receive the state of the art A321neo with its distinctive serial number 10,000 coinciding with the 75th anniversary of Middle East Airlines and specially after receiving MSN5,000 back in 2012,” said Mr El Hout.
“Unfortunately, due to the current situation in Lebanon, this time we will not be able to celebrate the delivery of the MSN10,000 in Beirut, as we did with the MSN5,000, but I am sure that in these challenging circumstances, it is a ray of light, hope and motivation to surpass our nation’s difficulties.”