Airbus looks to stop burning cash with plan to increase output

©Airbus

Having speeded up deliveries to cash-strapped airlines, Airbus has announced that it intends to increase production of its popular single-aisle jets, the A-320 Family, from 40 to 47 units a month in the third-quarter of 2021, in an attempt to stop burning cash and demand permitting.

The A320 Family of jets have been identified as likely to be some of the most popular aircraft to help struggling carriers manage the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently the European planemaker has reduced its 145-aircraft overhang to 135 jets. However, the recent countrywide lockdown in France has left many questioning whether Airbus will be able to deliver on its new targets. Suppliers are particularly concerned about investing for the ramp up in deliveries if Airbus then fails to meet the new targets.

Chief Executive Guillaume Faury said Airbus had learned much about how to adapt during the seven-month-old crisis, but also cautioned that airline traffic was taking longer than expected to recover from the dramatic hit seen at the start of the pandemic with airlines forced to ground fleets. Airbus’ Chief Executive Guillaume Faury commented that: “We believe we will have to live with the circulation of the virus for a long period of time.”

Underlying third-quarter operating profit fell 49% to €820 million as revenue fell 27% to €11.2 billion, beating market forecasts on profit but falling short on revenue, though this included a €1.2 billion restructuring charge. (€1.00 = US$1.18 at time of publication.)

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