Airbus adds more deliveries, breaks three-month order drought

FILE PHOTO: An Airbus A320neo aircraft is pictured during a news conference to announce a partnership between Airbus and Bombardier on the C Series aircraft programme, in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

PARIS (Reuters) - Airbus delivered 49 aircraft in July, up from 36 in June as it continues to recover from a slump in deliveries during this year’s coronavirus lockdowns, the company said on Thursday.

The aircraft were all narrow-body jets, highlighting a dearth of demand for the industry’s biggest models, which last month prompted Airbus to trim A350 production for a second time.

The month’s deliveries included 47 A320neo-family jets.

Airbus also scored its first orders in three months as it sold two A320neos to an undisclosed customer and two A321neos to Lufthansa Technik, the modification and repairs business of German carrier Lufthansa LHAG.DE.

So far in 2020, Airbus has delivered 245 jets and sold 369, or 302 after cancellations.

Demand for aircraft has been crippled by the coronavirus crisis and its heavy impact on air travel.

Airbus is boosting deliveries on a monthly basis despite the industry’s worst crisis as it negotiates deals with airlines.

But although deliveries are rising compared to the trough seen in April, several bankers and analysts have questioned how many of the aircraft are being placed into service as airlines struggle to save cash. Some are said to go straight to storage.

Airbus has issued default notices and threatened to sue airlines that refuse to collect planes already built while showing flexibility in deferring jets not yet in the factory..

Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Keith Weir