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Airbus' First-Half Deliveries Plunge as COVID-19 Takes Its Toll

By Lou Whiteman - Updated Jul 9, 2020 at 12:03PM

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Deliveries for the first six months of 2020 came in at a 16-year low

Airbus (EADSY 0.25%) delivered 196 planes in the first half of 2020, half the total from a year prior, as the COVID-19 pandemic led to factory disruptions and quelled demand for new aircraft.

The European aerospace giant reported 36 deliveries in June, improvements from the 24 in May and 14 in April. But the first-half total was still far from the 389 planes delivered in the first six months of 2019. Airbus also registered no new orders in June, its second consecutive month without an order.

An Airbus A330 on the ground

Image source: Airbus.

The deliveries number was Airbus' lowest first-half total in 16 years.

The pandemic has hit commercial aerospace hard, with airlines that just months ago were focused on growth now scaling back to conserve cash. The U.S. commercial fleet is expected to shrink by 20% or more in 2020, and with airlines adding billions in new debt to survive the downturn, the industry will be in no position to aggressively buy new planes even when the crisis is over.

Airbus archrival Boeing is expected to announce its first-half numbers in the coming days.

Despite the slowdown, Airbus still has an impressive backlog of more than 7,500 planes, including orders for more than 6,000 of its A320 aircraft. The A320 has gained sales momentum over the last year as Boeing's competitor, the 737 Max, remains grounded due to safety concerns.

Lou Whiteman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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