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Trade Woes Aside, Airbus Likely To End 2019 With Strong Sale Numbers: Company Executive

Trade Woes Aside, Airbus Likely To End 2019 With Strong Sale Numbers: Company Executive
The 2019 year is set to wend on a high note for the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus as all of the major civil aircraft programmes of the company are currently on course to record a book-to-bill ratio above one. This was announced by the chief commercial jet salesman of the company Christian Scherer on Wednesday.
Airbus reported a strong performance for 2019 despite it being a year that will be more remembered for the trade wars – especially the one between the United States and China, and a host of tariffs by the US on imports form a number of its trading partners. Scherer suggested that the company could achieve a gross sale of a thousand aircraft for the year. He however also added that a “very serious problem” for airline clients was posed by the trade duties and tariffs. 
In the aircraft manufacturing industry, a company possessing an above one for the book-to-bill ratio essentially means that the company has managed to get more orders during a specific time period – typically a year, compared to the deliveries made by it. In 2019, Airbus managed to achieve a gross sale of 940 aircraft in the first 11 months of the year.
“We are very satisfied indeed with our sales performance,” Scherer said on a conference call organised by France's AJPAE aerospace media association.
Rumors that the decision of Airbus rival – United States based Boeing, to suspend production of its grounded 737 MAX jet after two deadly crashes, was set to be beneficial for the European company was denied by Scherer. He instead suggested that the entire aviation sector at large would stand to lose from the decision.
“We're in a growth industry,” Scherer said. “When you have one player that isn't playing its part, it's extremely destructive.”
Scherer said that the conjecture of the company ultimately developing a much talked about larger version of the Airbus A220 was “not a question of if, but when”. However he also made it clear that the company currently had no such plans in the pipeline.
Scherer said that there is need for the company to achieve a breakthrough improvement in environmental and economic performance before it could start plans on the development of a replacement for the larger A320 jet family. He added that such a breakthrough was not likely to be achieved by the company before the 2030s, and hence the project will have ot wait till such time.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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