Airbus ousts Boeing from top spot with 863 plane deliveries

An Airbus takes off at company headquarters near Toulouse in France. (Reuters)
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Updated 01 January 2020

Airbus ousts Boeing from top spot with 863 plane deliveries

  • Boeing delivered 345 mainly long-haul jets between January and November, less than half the number of 704 achieved in the same period of 2018

PARIS: Airbus has become the world’s largest planemaker for the first time since 2011 after delivering a forecast-beating 863 aircraft in 2019, seizing the crown from embattled US rival Boeing, airport and tracking sources said on Wednesday.

A reversal in the pecking order between the two giants had been expected as a crisis over Boeing’s grounded 737 MAX drags into 2020. But the record European data further underscores the distance Boeing must travel to recoup its market position.

Airbus, which had been forced by its own industrial problems to cut its 2019 delivery goal by 2-3 percent in October, deployed extra resources until hours before midnight to reach 863 aircraft for the year, compared with its revised target of 860 jets.

Deliveries rose 7.9 percent from 800 aircraft in 2018.

Airbus declined to comment on the figures, which must be audited before finalised and published.

Planemakers receive most of their revenues when aircraft are delivered — minus accumulated progress payments — so the end-year delivery performance is closely monitored by investors.

Airbus’s tally, which included about 640 single-aisle aircraft, broke industry records after it diverted thousands of workers and canceled holidays to complete a buffer stock of semi-finished aircraft waiting to have their cabins adjusted.

Airbus has been hit by delays in fitting the complex new layouts on A321neo jets assembled in Hamburg, Germany, resulting in dozens of these and other models being stored in hangars to await last-minute configurations and the arrival of more labor.

Such out-of-sequence work drives up costs and could have a modest impact on Airbus profit margins, but the impact will be largely blunted by the high volume of planes and already solid profitability for such single-aisle aircraft, analysts say.

Still, the problems in fitting complex cabins have curtailed Airbus’s ability to take advantage of the market turmoil surrounding Boeing’s 737 MAX — grounded since March following two fatal accidents.

Boeing delivered 345 mainly long-haul jets between January and November, less than half the number of 704 achieved in the same period of 2018, when the MAX was being delivered normally.


NMC Health removes CEO amid investigation of UAE firm’s finances

Updated 27 February 2020

NMC Health removes CEO amid investigation of UAE firm’s finances

  • Chief Executive Prasanth Manghat was dismissed with immediate effect
  • Chief Operating Officer Michael Davis was appointed as interim CEO

NMC Health has removed Chief Executive Prasanth Manghat with immediate effect and granted its finance chief extended sick leave, as more details emerge from an investigation into the UAE health care firm’s finances.
Abu-Dhabi based NMC said after Wednesday’s market close that it had appointed Chief Operating Officer Michael Davis as interim CEO to succeed Manghat and said Chief Financial Officer Prashanth Shenoy had been placed on longer leave.
Manghat had been with NMC for about 10 years in various roles, including deputy CEO and CFO, and had seen the company through its 2012 listing on the London Stock Exchange.
The moves are the latest blow for the firm whose shares have lost about two thirds of their value since US-based short-seller Muddy Waters late last year questioned its financial statements.
NMC had said at the time that the report was “false and misleading,” but had opened its own investigation into company finances. The review is being led by Louis Freeh, who was director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States from 1993 to mid-2001.
NMC on Wednesday said the investigation committee had identified supply chain financing arrangements that were entered into by the company and “which are understood to have been used” by entities controlled by founder BR Shetty and former vice-chair Khaleefa Butti Omair Yousif Ahmed Al Muhairi.
Reuters was unable to reach Manghat, Shetty and Muhairi for comment outside business hours on NMC’s latest statement.
The company, which operates clinics and hospitals, specialized maternity and fertility clinics, and long-term care homes in 19 countries, said the committee was reviewing a drawdown of its facilities that had not been disclosed or approved by the board.
Its shares closed 6.6% higher before Wednesday’s statement.
NMC also said it had suspended a member of its treasury team over possible discrepancies in its bank statements and ledger entries, and said it would be unable to publish its annual results till at least the end of April.
Indian billionaire Shetty resigned as NMC’s co-chairman this month, after British regulators said they were looking into NMC following a disclosure that he had misstated the size of his stake.
Shetty had said this month that his NMC shareholdings were under a legal review looking into a large portion of his shares signed to two of NMC’s top investors in 2017, while some of his other stock had been pledged as security against loans.