By Tim Hepher
PARIS (Reuters) – Airbus (AIR.PA) has reduced its sales gap against its US rival Boeing (BA.N) by completing orders for 120 aircraft from the former Bombardier CSeries aircraft, but the actions of the former European planner have been questioning 2018 global deliveries.
Airbus, which took over the defunct CSeries company last July and renamed it A220, announced Thursday that it has finalized agreements to sell 60 jets JetBlue (JBLU.O) and Moxy, a US company. up supported by JetBlue founder David Neeleman.
But shares of the European company fell, with Airbus having prepared a highly anticipated delivery schedule for all shipments in 2018. In recent transactions, they have lost 3.6%.
Earlier, Reuters had expressed doubts about whether Airbus had reached the target of 800 deliveries in 2018, or 782 excluding the A220 Canadian aircraft.
A source close to the sector said that it was "more than likely likely" that Airbus missed the goal of a few jets. This is the first time that he has done so since his restructuring as a result of European mergers in 2000.
An Airbus spokesman declined to comment.
Investors closely monitor deliveries as they mark the point where most of the cash and operating profits are generated.
Planners around the world have been facing supplier problems in the last 12 months and Airbus has faced production and quality issues, although any shortfall in deliveries is not expected to have a significant impact on profits. .
Thursday's US contracts mark the first official orders for the A220 from 110 to 130 seats since Airbus took majority control of the Montreal-based program with Bombardier and Quebec as partners.
This realignment paves the way for a broader confrontation with Boeing (BA.N), which entered into an agreement last month to acquire 80% of Bombardier's competitor Embraer's business unit, subject to the approval of the Brazilian government.
For 2018, the sales battle between the giants of the transatlantic plane, with Boeing up here in the lead, particularly holds the eye.
Airbus ended November with 35% of net sales in the main airliner market, compared to its US rival, after eleven months eclipsed by changes in direction and delivery delays.
Since then he has gained momentum with official contracts for 220 aircraft, including an order for 100 aircraft from Irish lessor Avolon, leaving him 90 fewer units than Boeing's 690 jet aircraft.
On a like-for-like basis, excluding the former CSeries model, Airbus achieved a total of 480 net sales for the year, compared to 690 on the last Boeing balance sheet, for a market share of 41 percent. %, based on orders announced since November.
Airbus plans to release its annual figures on January 11th. Both companies often make last-minute offers to raise their annual totals. The announcements are postponed at the beginning of the following year.
(Report by Tim Hepher, edited by Mark Potter)