Airbus reported a €283 million ($349 million) net profit in the March quarter, down 31% from €409 million a year earlier. The Toulouse-based manufacturer cited supplier delays in the A320neo program as the main cause for the profit drop.
Revenue fell 12% year-over-year to €10.1 billion. Because the company built up a massive inventory of unfinished aircraft, Airbus reported a €3.8 billion negative free cash flow for the quarter.
Airbus also announced it will cut production of its once well-selling A330 widebody jet for 2019 after losing two important sales campaigns in the US market.
The manufacturer confirmed April 27 that it plans to deliver around 50 A330s and A330neos in 2019, down from 67 in 2017 and around 120 in past years. Airbus is transitioning from the A330 to the A330neo, which is scheduled to be delivered to launch operator TAP Air Portugal later this year. The aircraft has yet to be certified and is still in flight testing.
Orders for the A330neo have remained below expectations. Airbus lost its last order for the A330-800 earlier this year when Hawaiian Airlines switched to the competing Boeing 787. The manufacturer experienced another blow when American Airlines opted for the 787, canceling an earlier A350 order and neglecting the A330.
Airline industry sources said Airbus is currently offering the A330neo at rock-bottom prices to find entry into blue-chip customers’ fleets, but most airlines are not considering the type.
The company has 214 firm orders for the A330-900, the successor of the A330-300, with many of the commitments from lessors and long-haul, low-fare carrier AirAsia X. There were 37 outstanding deliveries for the A330-200, 48 for the -300 and four for the freighter version at the end of March.