Airbus close to delivering 560 planes in 2020 with late push

THE STAR – Airbus SE was close to delivering 560 planes to customers as of December 31, approaching the top end of its internal target in a year marred by the pandemic-induced collapse of air travel, according to people familiar with the matter.

The European planemaker delivered close to 550 aircraft as of December 29, Bloomberg reported earlier, and continued that push during the last days of the month.

The final audited tally is due for release next week, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information. Airbus declined to comment before the audited figures are published.

Auditors consider such factors as when the final bank transfer is made in determining when a plane can be considered delivered.

The 2020 total is well short of the record 863 aircraft that Airbus handed over to customers in 2019, but it still would be considered a success given the widespread groundings of fleets as Covid-19 wiped out demand for travel.

The deliveries put the Toulouse, France-based planemaker comfortably ahead of United States (US) rival Boeing Co, which handed over 118 aircraft by the end of November.