Airbus delivered 66 jets in November, leaving itself a near-record challenge of 137 in December to meet its 2022 goal, although it has not excluded the possibility that the target will be trimmed, industry sources said.
The world's largest planemaker has delivered an estimated 563 planes this year, the sources said, up from 497 between January and end-October, or 495 after adjusting for two deliveries blocked by Russian sanctions.
An Airbus spokesperson declined comment on the November estimate, which is subject to internal audit.
A late surge pushed November higher than initially expected but failed to lift doubts over the 2022 target of “around 700” with weeks to go before the end of the year, the sources said.
The previous December record of 138, seen in 2019, was achieved before COVID-19 put heavy strain on supply chains.
One industry source said the company had all but given up hope of reaching its key revenue-driving target. "They have too many problems," the source said, asking not to be named.
Airbus will announce November deliveries on Dec. 8, which is also seen as the opportunity to announce any update to end-year goals. Two sources said this had not been ruled out, while noting Airbus has a pattern of positive surprises at end-year.
On Tuesday, Chief Executive Guillaume Faury appeared to tie the target to the performance in the final days of November.
Asked whether Airbus stood by its 2022 target, he declined direct comment but said he would have a clearer picture by end-November and warned the supply chain environment "remains very complex". (Reporting by Tim Hepher Editing by David Goodman and Raju Gopalakrishnan)