Airbus’ ramp up of A320 slows to reflect weaker market outlook

©Airbus A320 hangar FAL

While Airbus continues to increase the monthly production numbers for the narrow-body A320 jet, it will be at a reduced level to that previously anticipated. Currently, the European planemaker is producing 40 units per month and this will increase to 43 in the third-quarter 2021, and 45 in the final quarter, both down on the targeted 47 units for July onwards “in response to the market environment.” However, according to Airbus, production numbers for the A350 and A330 will remain stable at five and two units per month, respectively, though this means a postponement of a potential production rate increase for the A350.

At the root of the problem for Airbus is the uncertainty facing airlines during the global pandemic, especially those based in Europe. This problem is compounded by a lack of certainty over the volume of delivery finance available while all eyes are on the pace of the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine alongside the general economic outlook.  Airbus has also confirmed its previous announcements that the assembly of the smaller A220 jet will increase from four to five aircraft per month at the end of the first quarter.

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