Airbus sees a recovery on the horizon and plans production adjustments to meet that need. The aircraft manufacturer provided a formal update on planned production levels, with potential for nearly 100 aircraft built per month by the middle of the decade.
The message to our supplier community provides visibility to the entire industrial ecosystem to secure the necessary capabilities and be ready when market conditions call for it. In parallel, we are transforming our industrial system by optimising our aerostructures set-up and modernising our A320 Family production facilities. All these actions are set in motion to prepare our future.– Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO
The biggest production boost in absolute numbers is expected to come from the A320 family of planes. The company expects to build 45 per month by the end of 2021, growing to 64 per month by the middle of 2023.
Airbus is also asking suppliers to enable a scenario of rate 70 by Q1 2024, though the company is not committed to that level yet. Longer term, Airbus is investigating opportunities for rates as high as 75 by 2025.
The previous maximum output was 60/month in 2019.
In terms of relative production shift the A220 line shows the greatest potential to change. The twin assembly facilities in Mobile and Mirabel are confirmed to increase to a production of 6 frames per month in early 2022. The company anticipates this rate could more than double to 14 planes produced monthly by the middle of the decade.
Wide-bodies in Waiting
The twin-aisle recovery expectations are less clear for Airbus. The company currently builds seven large aircraft per month, five on the A350 line and a pair on the A330 line. The A350s anticipate adding one more monthly build by Autumn 2022 while the A330 line will hold steady.
If the maximum production levels currently envisaged are reached Airbus will deliver 89 single-aisle and 8 twin-aisle planes each month by the middle of the decade.
This recovery timing matches a similar forecast delivered by industry trade group IATA earlier in the week. IATA’s most recent expectations show global aviation returning to its prior growth trajectory, just offset by two years owing to the COVID impact.
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