Airbus manufactures narrowbody and widebody airframes in a duopoly with Boeing. The industry structure has been remarkably stable for decades, a testament to the almost insurmountable barriers to entry that new competitors face. Coming out of Covid, Airbus has emerged even stronger, as competitor Boeing entered the downturn with a weak balance sheet (Airbus is net cash) and then suffered a series of technical and quality issues. Airbus now stands with a backlog of over 8 500 planes on order. Considering annual production is currently 735 planes (and growing), this is many years' worth of demand secured in advance. We expect Airbus to have fully rebuilt its €10bn net cash cushion by year-end 2023, as such cash returns to shareholders should accelerate from here. It remains a core global equity portfolio holding.

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