Airbus 1H2023 results: Supply chain limits Airbus’ growth

July 26, 2023, © Leeham News: Airbus has presented its results for the first half year of 2023. A few critical suppliers are still Airbus’ constraint for growth.

The orders are there, and the Final Assembly Lines as well. But the supply chain is maxed out, gradually taking Airbus to 75 A321/A320 a month by 2026.

For 2023 things are on track. The company sticks to its 2023 guidance of delivering 720 commercial aircraft with an EBIT adjusted of €6bn and Free cash flow of €3bn.

For 2024 and 2025, Airbus CEO Guillame Faury cautioned that the RTX GTF engine turbine disc inspections could strain an already challenged GTF MRO capacity further.

Group-level results

Revenue for 1H2023 was €20.3bn (€17.5bn 1H2022), operating profit €2.3bn (called EBIT adjusted, €2.3bn 1H2022), and net profit was €1.5bn (€2.5bn). The net profit for 1H2023 was adjusted for a dollar-to-Euro mismatch of predelivery payments of €0.7bn. It also reflects increased spending in R&D (for the hydrogen building brick programs, among others).

Free cash flow for 1H2023 was €2.0bn (€1.6bn), and the net cash position end of 1H2023 was €9.1bn. Liquidity was over €30bn.

Guidance for 2023 remains:

  • Airbus targets 720 commercial aircraft deliveries.
  • Airbus expects an EBIT Adjusted of €6bn.
  • Free Cash Flow of €3bn.
Commercial aircraft

Of the 316 (297) delivered aircraft, 256 were A321/A320, 25 A220, 14 A350, and 21 A330. Production rates are unchanged from 1Q2023 forecasts.

Market demand is very strong, with gross orders at 1080 aircraft (1H2022 442) and net orders of 1044 (259 1H2022).

The monthly delivery rate for the A320 family targets a rate of 75 by 2026. Airbus 1H2023 deliveries are tracking to this delivery rate increase.

The final certification agreement with EASA regarding the A321XLR means additional insulation for the central tank and, therefore, increased empty weight. Airbus is in flight test of the plane and will use all possible means to keep as much of the 4,700nm range promised for the A321XLR as is possible. It’s too early to say if there, in the end, will be a range deficit, according to Airbus CEO Guillame Faury.


The Airbus helicopter had a strong 1H2023 with an increase in deliveries from 115 helicopters 1H2022 to 145 1H2023. Revenue increased by 16% to €3.2bn (€2.7bn) and EBIT by 24% to €0.27bn (€0.22bn).

Defense and Space

Revenues decreased by 8% to €4.7bn (€5.1bn), mainly because of problems in the Space launcher business. EBIT improved to €0.09bn (€-0.1bn). Three A440M were delivered in 1H2023.

45 Comments on “Airbus 1H2023 results: Supply chain limits Airbus’ growth

  1. All looking good from Airbus. I wonder if or when they’ll announce a re-wing of the A320 and its siblings; 2025, maybe?

    • He might be right if they produce it similar to how they make the A220-300 as it is too expensive to produce still. Can Airbus make a stretch with a new wing optimized for robotic build together with cheaper components and engine options it will be a different game if certified as a derivative under the same Type Certificate (similar to the 777X changes, wing; engines; systems…) hence if it becomes much lighter and cheaper than A319neo or 737-7 with similar range.

      • Better, faster, and cheaper are always available: merely wishing it will make it so,

      • Hello Scott,
        I cite LNA articles on a regular basis, but I inadvertently forgot that one (the fact that it’s behind a paywall might have something to do with it).
        Sorry about that.

      • your site as a complete amateur so not suitable for subscription but maybe after a certain period you release all articles older articles ie the a230npaywall article referenced in this thread,
        Thanks for all you do!!!

    • Mister Calhoun is either seriously deluded, or lying. That article is quite the read; TFTL.

      • Vincent:

        We won’t really know unless Boeing retires its debt and gets profits and how much longer is Calhoun going to be in charger?

        Scotts comment about United and the listening to Wallstreet has to be resisted, but then again one guy wants to assure the future and another wants his money so he can cut and run with it. I saw the same thing with Costco a while back, you are paying your people too well.

        Hard telling what forces are doing what behind the board at Boeing, we don’t know that stuff until its in the past.

        No I don’t trust Calhoun any further than I can throw the Empire state building, but its the first time I have seen anything come out of him that references tech following in the company.

        • I love the reference to “retiring” debt.
          Big shock: debt has to be repaid — it doesn’t just “retire”.

          BA still has $52.3B to repay, in addition to $29.4B in nominal debt servicing costs.
          That’s $81.7B in total.
          The most recent debt repayment ($3.1B) was essentially funded by order deposits from India and Saudi Arabia. In order words: borrowed money was used to repay debt. That’s what’s called a debt trap.

          • To be fair, the word “retire” is often used here in the States with regard to debt, though I agree that it’s
            a euphemism that obscures meaning.

          • @ Vincent
            Yes, I know — but I’m not sure that all commenters are aware of what actually underlies that particular use of the verb.
            The concept of “retire” sounds so peaceful, inevitable and self-evident…as if the debt will just go away of its own accord 😏

        • It will take BA over a decade to pay down all its debt. Trust me.

    • Hey Bryce.

      There could be another angle to this;

      The mainline fleets are a two horse race. You either get AB or BA. Embraer is too small and Comac is not ready for int’l competition. Next jet.

      If AB can get the A220 line to a break even position, every jet that they sell to customers is one less jet that is sold to Boeing. It’s an either/or case. Often we say “it’ll grab A320Neo sales” but the A320Neo is close to being maxxed out on production capacity alone.

      Bumping up production to 14 a month and offering a 150 seat (2-class) jet, which is smaller than the 165 seat (2 class) A320Neo gives Airbus a slightly different product to offer to airlines, with a different supply chain.

      An A220 line not only eats A320Neo sales, it eats 737Max 8 sales.

      A market of 2,500 jets, per Scott – is 2,500 less aircraft that BA will sell. If they can get the margin up to a measly $1 million per aircraft delivered, that is $2.5 billion to the bottom line, all while keeping airlines out of BA’s hands.

      Sure – perhaps they could make a bigger margin on a Neo sale, but if the customer walks simply because they want an aircraft but can’t get it because of production constraints, they’ll go with the other guys.

      But Pratt has got to fix it’s engine issues first. I think that switching over to a Leap type option rules out the cheap and quick plug fore and aft of the wing, lose a little range and here ya go.

      • The point from the article is that a220 is always going to be a limited family. If you go with a320/737 you get a much larger capacity variant with the same maintenance and pilots. If you go with a220 you max out at a theoretical -500. Thus you’d need to assume you stayed small, or forego the commonality with the other two families. It’s ultimately an unsolvable dilema since changing to commonality would be a very expensive endeavor, and by the time a 320 is ready to be redone again the 220 cockpit will be old tech. I think the best they can hope for is improve profit in the lane they’re currently in.

        • I don’t buy the commonality argument.
          There are airlines that successfully operate the A220 alongside the A321.
          Delta is a prime example — and it keeps ordering more A220s.

          • And there are many multitudes more airlines who operate the A320 family due to communality.

          • If “commonality” is or becomes an issue
            for Airbus, I’m sure it will be directly reflected in A220 sales figures. So far that doesn’t look like a problem. 😉

            The ill-prepared BBO seems to be grasping at *any* available straw, now..

          • Some years ago there’s been an article discussion fleet communality on this site. Conclusion was – its a factor with diminishing returns. Beyond a certain fleet size threshold it’s less of an issue and for many big customers like Lufthansa there are other factors that tip the balance.

        • ” … the 220 cockpit will be old tech”

          Strange. How about BA’s 737 (or dare I say, 777X)?

      • My hypothesis that Boeing is being “wound down”
        still seems to be fitting the facts that we do know,
        the remarkably blithe comments from Boeing’s
        CEO included.

      • @ Frank
        I can easily see the benefits of the A220 program. Airbus expects it to be profitable in 2025, and it’s “bombs away” from there.
        Launching an A220-500 would provide an ideal opportunity to decrease the role of external suppliers (such as Spirit) and diversify the engine options — perhaps even (ultimately) in the direction of RR.

        Where The Dave is considered: I consider everything that he says to be meaningless waffle.

  2. “France’s Safran raises forecasts amid air travel boom”

    “PARIS, July 27 (Reuters) – Jet engine maker Safran (SAF.PA) raised profit and cashflow forecasts on Thursday after core income jumped in the first half, led by demand for spares and services as airlines boost flights to meet a recovery in travel demand.

    “Recurring operating income rose 33% to 1.397 billion euros ($1.55 billion) and revenues rose 26% to 10.945 billion on a like-for-like basis in the first six months, the French aerospace supplier said. Safran generated almost 1.5 billion euros of free cashflow.”

  3. If I am following the report correctly, Revenue was up but profits down 20%. At that rate when they hit (if they hit) 75 A20 series a month, they will be way down.

    Flip of course is money in the bank. I wonder if Airbus would lend Boeing that cash just sitting there? A huge benefit to have a competitor to keep you on your toes!

    Airbus does not have to do anything other than get profits up when revenue goes up. Of course we don’t know how many suppliers they are bailing out and or helping manage, loaning money to.

    An A330NEO F would be worth looking into though conversions on the A330CEO may be what the F ops wants.

    Of course you have to talk to the buyers and find out interest. Boeing has so much of the market tied up someone changing incurs costs above the norm, F ops are competitive unless you are UPS etc which is a different market for their own shipping. IE the internal package movement vs ad hoc and even then FedEx at least moves some by belly freight.

    All in all, Airbus is in an outstanding position in Single Aisle and decent in the wide body if not as good as Boeing (assuming Boeing gets and keeps its production act together)

    I was surprised to see Airbus talking about a production manager. Better to keep your CEO closely attached to that end and you can have a VP.

    • “At that rate when they hit (if they hit) 75 A20 series a month, they will be way down.”

      Can you read?? It’s because of a charge due to currency exchange fluctuation (dollar euro mismatch in PDP *and* balance sheet revaluation).

      In the U.S., mgmt talks up “adjusted” result and everyone (including the press) would treat it as if nothing happened (no loss suffered). Lol.

  4. Deliveries to date in July:

    – MAX: 27 (3 from inventory; 24 from the line)
    – 787: 3 (all from inventory; none from the line)

    A320/321: 46
    A220: 5
    A350: 6
    A330neo: 3

    • On-target+ numbers for Airbus; the other guys, not so much. Remember “40 Boeing MAXes per month by mid-year”?

      memories.. some of us still have ’em. When you seldom or never do what you say you’re going to do, people notice, over time. Watching with real interest,
      esp the MAX-7 and MAX-10 certifications..

      • 40 pm will require twice as many polonaise dances with trucks up in that soggy field in Montana…not sure that that’s attainable 🙈

  5. Calhoun on the A220-500:
    “I really don’t think about it. I don’t view it as a meaningful competitor,” Calhoun says during Boeing’s second-quarter earnings call on 26 July. “There is nothing that I would want to do on the product-development front to respond to it. It’s not the world that we’re interested in.”

    I guess the 737-7 is just fine, 150 seats is a small marketsegment after all and a new great aircraft is around the corner. Boeings loyal customer will wait for it..

    .. worrysome observations from Boeing’s CEO in my opinion. Who is informing Calhoun? Does he think the A220 is a regional?

    Has groupthink taken over again? Has Brian beaten Marc?

    • Yeah, well, what do you expect him to say?
      He has nothing with which to respond to an A220-500, and he has no funding to develop anything new.

      The order books speak volumes:
      – MAX: 5603 (just 13% above the 2018 level)
      – A319/320/321 NEO: 9568 (47% above 2018 level)
      – A220: 806 (50% above 2018 level)

      AB’s NB order book is 85% larger than BA’s…

      • Relax, Bryce: Boeing’s CEO will pull a rabbit out of the hat any day now

        any day now

    • Makes you wonder if anyone at PW feels any shame for the current debacle…or does the board just view it as being “tough luck” for the impacted airlines/OEMs?

      • Well seems RTX/P&W cut too deep a couple years ago to burn off inventory and created a false picture of better FCF. Another case of WS win! /s

    • Looks like Air Senegal has had it with all the A220 issues ..
      Looking to offload the a220 in favor of an 321 n fleet..
      And who can blame them , only 1 delivered ,and has been grounded ever since !!

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