Friday, May 29, 2015

Airbus hints at production hike

BLAGNAC, France -- Airbus may be producing as many as 60 A320 family passenger jets per month as early as 2018, an increase of some 26 percent over the current number. Airbus sales chief John Leahy said "we aren't committed to anything yet," but said the company’s backlog of more than 6,000 A320-family orders could be the driver for such a large increase in production. Currently, Airbus produces 42 of the single-aisle A320s per month. Airbus Chief Operating Officer Tom Williams said Airbus could ramp up to 60 planes per month as soon as 2018. A formal decision by the company is expected by the year's end. The remarks came during an annual press conference at the company's Toulouse-Blagnac headquarters in southwestern France on Thursday. A key issue is whether the supply chain could keep up. Boeing also has said it's eyeing production increases of its 737. A new A320 family assembly line will be opening this summer in Mobile, Ala., joining plants in Hamburg, Toulouse and China that are already producting A320s. (Sources: USA Today, Wall Street Journal, 05/28/15)