Airbus to Produce 42 A320s a Month

Reuters20.05.2011 Aviation & Space
Airbus to Produce 42 A320s a Month

Airbus to Produce 42 A320s a Month

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Airbus confirmed plans to increase production of its best-selling A320 family of aircraft to a record 42 planes a month, underlining signs of a global economic recovery.

Boeing and Airbus suffered a slump in orders in 2008 and 2009 amid the recession. Now, demand is reviving as air traffic trends recover and funds flow back into the leasing market.

"With a backlog of over 2,300 A320-family aircraft to deliver, we need to increase production to accommodate continuing strong customer demand for these new eco-efficient aircraft," Airbus Programs chief Tom Williams said.

The increase, from 36 planes a month now and a previously planned peak of 40 a month which Airbus intends to reach in early 2012, will take place from that year's fourth quarter.   

EADS last week said it was considering increasing production to meet a rebound in aviation demand led by emerging markets.

Industry sources said on Friday Airbus had made the decision internally to lift production to 42 planes a month and was still studying a potential further rise to 44 - a level EADS's Finance Chief has called a "bit of a stretch".

The Airbus A320 competes with Boeing's 737 for sales estimated at $1.7 trillion over the next 20 years. Boeing currently churns out 31.5 737s a month and is aiming to boost production to 38 by the second quarter of 2013.

The competing 100-200 seat aircraft are the backbone of most airlines' medium-haul fleets and are credited with powering the dramatic growth of low-cost carriers.   

Airbus recently announced a new version of its A320 with newer and more efficient engines from 2015, to be known as the A320neo. Boeing is pondering how to respond to the threat.


Source: Reuters




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