Airbus deliveries surge, sending shares higher

A rebound in air travel in the U.S. and China is helping to give Airbus a lift.

The aerospace giant said Friday (April 9) that deliveries of new jets surged in March.

It also reported a new order for 20 of its smaller A220 planes.

Airbus shares rose around 2% following the news.

Both it and archrival Boeing have had to cut output and lay off thousands of workers as the global travel slump hit demand.

But the brisk pace of deliveries suggests Airbus is on track to match or beat the 122 airliners delivered in the first quarter of last year.

Suppliers say the firm is aiming for 600 over the year as a whole.

But obvious problems remain.

More than 100 jets now sit outside Airbus factories, undelivered as airlines try to preserve cash.

That means the company once again built more aircraft than it delivered.

One analyst said that equated to around a billion dollars in extra inventory.