Airbus Gets No New Aircraft Orders In May Amid Aviation Crisis

Airbus Group SE (EADSF) said that it did not receive a single new order in May as the global aviation crisis fueled by the coronavirus pandemic throttled demand for new commercial jets.

The France-based planemaker delivered 24 aircraft to customers during the month of May, including A220, A320 and A350 XWB planes, it said in a statement on Friday. No orders were canceled, Airbus said.

Commercial airline travel has fallen off a cliff due to coronavirus-induced lockdown restrictions forcing many airlines around the world to ground the majority of their fleets and to sharply reduce spending.

The travel restrictions tied to the pandemic have resulted in a deep cut in the number of commercial jets and services planemakers’ customers need over the next few years with some asking for delivery delays or order cancellations.

In May, Airbus delivered two A220-300 to Air Canada and 18 A320 aircraft including the first A320neo to Wizz Air. For Airbus widebody aircraft, four A350 XWBs were provided in both A350-900 and A350-1000 configurations.

Airbus’ backlog of aircraft remaining to be delivered as of 31st May stood at 7,621, the planemaker said.

This month, Qatar Airways demanded from Airbus and Boeing Co (BA) to defer deliveries or face a loss of future business.

Separately Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury signaled last week that the planemaker would sue airlines who don’t keep order contracts due to the coronavirus crisis.

“But if and when airlines – and it’s happening – have no other choice than fully defaulting and not proposing something better than nothing, or are not willing to do it, then (lawsuits) will happen,” Faury told Politico.

Shares in Airbus surged 11% to $90 on Friday, narrowing this year’s drop to 40%.

Looking ahead, Wall Street analysts expect more declines in the shares over the coming year with the average price target set at $80.96, which reflects 10% downside potential.

Overall, though, analysts have a cautiously optimistic outlook on the stock. Out of 16 recent reviews, 9 have Buy ratings versus 5 Hold ratings and 2 Sell ratings which add up to a Moderate Buy consensus. (See Airbus stock analysis on TipRanks).

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