Airbus recorded an 11% total revenue increase year on year to €27.7bn ($30.5bn) in the first half (H1) of 2023 compared to €24.8bn ($27.37bn) in H1 2022.

2023 demonstrates a period of high demand with gross commercial aircraft orders in H1 2023 totalling 1,080 in comparison to 442 aircraft in H1 2022.

Airbus delivered a total of 316 aircraft in H1, comprising 25 A220s, 256 A320s, 14 A330s and 21 A350s.

According to Airbus 2023 guidance, they have targets of 720 commercial aircraft deliveries, an EBIT adjusted of €6bn and a free cash flow before M&A and customer financing of €3bn.

The French aircraft manufacturer reported they hit a record-high backlog of 7,967 commercial aircraft at the end of June 2023, particularly due to finishing the Paris air show with orders for over 800 aircraft from across its range.

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury emphasised the company’s progress across 2023, with an extended demand due to the success of the Paris Air Show: “During the first half of 2023, we progressed well across our businesses in an operational environment that remains complex.

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“Our commercial aircraft are in strong demand, as demonstrated by more than 800 orders announced at the Paris Air Show. This demand is driven both by growth and fleet replacement as airlines invest in more fuel-efficient fleets, based on this H1 performance, we maintain our 2023 guidance.”

Ramping up production

According to Airbus, by the middle of the decade, the A220 programme has ramped up to a monthly manufacturing pace of 14 aircraft.

On the A320 family programme, the manufacturer continues to ramp up towards a monthly production rate of 65 aircraft by the end of 2024.

With the aim of increasing manufacturing possibilities for the A320, Airbus is set to open a second final assembly line at its Chinese plant in Tianjin before the end of 2025.

This will support plans to produce 75 aircraft per month in 2026.

Furthermore, the A321XLR’s flight test programme is ongoing and entry-into-service is anticipated for the second quarter (Q2) of 2024.

Will the targets be reached?

As previously reported, Airbus is still not on track to deliver 720 aircraft by the end of 2023, having already missed the 2022 goal.

Its EBIT adjusted, related to Airbus’ commercial aircraft activities, decreased to €580m compared to €1bn Q1 2022.

Airbus stated that reduced deliveries, a less attractive hedging rate compared to Q1 2022 and expenditures in planning for the future are all factors in the drop.

In light of this, Airbus helicopters’ EBIT adjusted increased to €156m (Q1 2022: €90m), which reflects the performance across programmes and the good start in services.

Lastly, consolidated free cash flow before M&A and customer financing was €-889m compared to €213m in Q1 2022, with the company stating this was primarily due to the inventory build-up required while the production ramp-up started.