As aviation in certain parts of the world has shown robust signs of recovery and vaccines continue to roll out, Airbus is gearing up to gradually increase the production of its single-aisle jets. By the middle of the decade, the manufacturer says it could be making as many as 75 aircraft per month from the A320 family.
Securing capabilities throughout ecosystem
In a statement issued on Thursday, Airbus said it had provided suppliers with an update on its forthcoming production plans. As global aviation begins to recuperate, the planemaker behemoth foresees a recovery for the commercial aircraft market to pre-COVID levels somewhere between 2023 and 2025. As such, the manufacturer is getting ready to ramp up production in the coming years.
“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, said in the statement.
Forty-five A320 family by end of year
As the forecast has narrowbody traffic recovering quicker than the market for long-haul widebodies, it is no surprise that the most significant production increases are to be found in Airbus’ single-aisle segment.
Currently at 40 jets per month, the A320 family is predicted to have an average production rate of 45 aircraft rolling out monthly from final assembly facilities in Toulouse, Hamburg, Tianjin, and Mobile by the fourth quarter of 2021. This is slower than early estimates of an anticipated 47 from July.
Airbus then intends for numbers to grow to 64 until the third quarter of 2023 and up to a potential 70 for the first quarter of 2024. The manufacturer also said it is investigating opportunities for rates as high as 75 by 2025.
Meanwhile, the nimble and much-appreciated A220 will increase from a current five aircraft per month out of the Mirabel factory to six by early 2022. However, Airbus’ Quebec facility has indicated that it could increase production to as many as 14 each month by the middle of the decade.
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A350 production to scale up in 2022
Widebody aircraft will, understandably, not see as significant ramp-ups. The A350 family is currently at an average of five aircraft per month and will not increase to six until autumn 2022. The A330 family, meanwhile, will remain at an average pace of two per month for the foreseeable future. Airbus says it is ‘protecting its ability to further adapt as the market evolves’.
When do you think production rates for widebodies will begin to pick back up? What do you make of Airbus’ A320 schedule? Leave a comment below and let us know.