March delivery surge pushes Airbus jet supply higher in first quarter

March delivery surge pushes Airbus jet supply higher in first quarter

March delivery surge pushes Airbus jet supply higher in first quarter

FILE PHOTO: An unmarked A320-214SL Airbus plane is seen on the tarmac at the Airbus factory in Blagnac near Toulouse, France, July 2, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) – Airbus reported slightly higher deliveries in the first quarter with 125 aircraft handed over to airlines after a sharp increase in activity in March, company data showed on Thursday.

Airbus also posted 39 gross orders, including a new deal for 20 A220s to an unidentified buyer.

But the company saw the number of net orders – which are adjusted for cancellations – remain in negative territory for the first quarter, with a total of minus 61 net orders dominated by a Norwegian cancellation unveiled in the previous month.

The brisk pace of deliveries confirms a Reuters report on Wednesday that the world’s largest planemaker was poised to match or even eclipse the 122 deliveries seen in the first quarter of last year after a surge in March.

Reporting by Tim Hepher. Editing by Jane Merriman