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Airbus production in Hamburg: Never before have so many A320s or A350s been sold

Photo: John Macdougall / AFP

The European aircraft manufacturer Airbus has received more orders than ever before. Last year, Airbus received orders for 2094 aircraft. This surpassed the previous record of 1503 aircraft orders set in 2013. The popularity of the A320 Family short-haul aircraft and the A350 long-haul aircraft contributed to this success.

The company also said it delivered 735 aircraft to customers last year despite ongoing supply chain issues. This exceeded Airbus' target of 720 aircraft delivered, well above the 661 aircraft in 2022.

Large-capacity machines in demand again

After the pandemic, "we expected aviation to recover sometime between 2023 and 2025, but what we saw in 2023 was that in addition to the single-aisle aircraft market, the wide-body market also returned much earlier and stronger than expected," explained Christian Scherer, managing director of the commercial aircraft division.

The largest order came from India's low-cost airline IndiGo, which has signed the largest order in the history of civil aviation with 500 A320s. Air India ordered 250 aircraft, including 40 A350s, while Turkish Airlines ordered 230 aircraft, including 60 A350s. "We have never sold so many A320s or A350s in one year. (...) There is a strong dynamic," said Scherer.

To meet the high demand, Airbus aims to increase the number of A320s produced monthly from 48 in 2023 to 75 and the number of A350s produced monthly from five to ten in 2026, according to Scherer.

While Airbus is soaring, US competitor Boeing is stumbling: The company also recorded a surge in orders with 1456 orders, which is due to the success of the 737 MAX (987 orders) and the long-haul 787 (313 orders). However, Boeing continues to struggle with production and quality control issues and was only able to deliver 2023 aircraft in 528. Airbus has once again outpaced Boeing and has been able to distinguish itself as the world's largest aircraft manufacturer for the fifth time in a row.

Last week, an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max had to make an emergency landing because a piece of fuselage had come loose from the plane. No one was injured in the incident, but the image of the US manufacturer remains tarnished. In 2018 and 2019, a total of 346 people had already died in two accidents due to design flaws on Boeing aircraft.