Airbus Delivered 55 Planes in September

By Robert Wall Features Dow Jones Newswires

Airbus SE on Friday said it delivered 55 airliners in September, leaving the European plane maker both trailing rival Boeing Co. and with heavy lifting to do in the final three months to meet its full-year target for jetliner production.

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Airbus shipped 454 planes in the first nine months of the year, the Toulouse, France-based company said in a monthly update on its jetliner business. The company has told investors it expects to deliver around 720 airliners this year. Airbus's cash flow is closely tied to aircraft deliveries.

Airbus has been in similar predicaments before, including last year when it had to deliver 208 planes in the final quarter to meet guidance. It cranked out even more, including a record 111 planes in December, to deliver 688 planes in 2016.

Airbus and rival Boeing Co. are ramping up plane production after a period during which airlines and plane lessors placed big orders for the aircraft makers' new, more fuel-efficient jetliners. But those efforts at times have hit speed bumps as suppliers have struggled to build parts on time.

Boeing leads Airbus in plane deliveries this year and remains on track to retain the bragging rights as the world's largest plane maker. The Chicago-based plane maker has produced 554 planes through September.

Airbus earlier this year warned investors that meeting full-year 2017 targets was highly dependent on Pratt & Whitney, the engine unit of United Technologies Corp. Pratt & Whitney makes one of the engine types used on the Airbus A320neo single-aisle plane, but the engine maker has fallen behind in getting them built.

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Airbus plans to deliver around 200 A320neo planes this year. It so far has handed over only 81 of them in 2017. A joint venture of General Electric Co. and France's Safran SA builds the rival engine for the Airbus plane.

Airbus also Friday said it booked 56 new orders last month. Net order intake in the first nine months of the year reached 271 planes.

Boeing said it had booked 498 net orders in the first nine months of the year.

Write to Robert Wall at Robert.Wall@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 06, 2017 12:28 ET (16:28 GMT)