Aviation

Airbus maintains a forecast of 700 commercial deliveries this year

Airbus executives expressed confidence that the European OEM will meet its target of delivering “around” 700 commercial jets this year and returning to pre-Covid-1000 levels of around 1,000 planes by mid-decade. Reaching about 700 commercial jet deliveries amid disruptions to the global supply chain “is anything but a walk in the park,” Airbus Chief Financial Officer Dominique Assam stressed during the company’s capital markets day on Friday. “But we are fully engaged with our suppliers to meet our commitments to customers.” Airbus works with about 3,200 suppliers, and about 3 million parts pass through the manufacturer’s doors every day, said Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury.

Assam brushed aside concerns from some analysts that Airbus would miss its 700-delivery target as the company delivered only 382 planes in the first eight months of the year, leaving about 320 units to deliver in the last four months. “We experienced similar delivery with server loading in the pre-COVID years,” Assam noted. Airbus will achieve a step change in monthly delivery volumes — from an average of 47 aircraft per month from January to August to an average of 80 aircraft per month — “while continuing to focus on deliveries of aircraft that we have in stock and are nearing completion.” This includes airframes for which the recovery plan is being followed,” he said.

The number of what Airbus calls “gliders” — planes on the ground waiting for engines to be delivered — has fallen to fewer than 10, from 29 at the end of June.

Airbus aims to reach production of 50 A320 family aircraft per month by the end of the year, and plans to increase it to 75 per month in 2025 “to meet customer demand,” Faury noted. He insisted that “there is a need” to produce 75 A320 family aircraft per month, although he admitted that this would be “difficult to achieve”, particularly due to engine supply issues. “Getting the 75 up is very difficult for engine manufacturers. They have a very complex supply chain and long lead times, but so do we [Pratt & Whitney and CFM International] continue to aim for a level of 75 by 2025,” he said. Airbus has reached agreement on engine supply volumes with Pratt & Whitney and CFM International for 2023 and 2024, he added. From the beginning of 2024, the company plans an interim monthly production of the A320 twinjet family at the rate of 65 per month.

According to Assam, the planned increase in production of the A320 family involves a gradual transition to the larger A321neo. Airbus’ A320 family backlog consists almost exclusively of neos and a portion of the A321neo variant, including the long-range A321LR and the future A321XLR. That backlog is about 60 percent, compared to 45 percent in August 2019. The company expects that share to grow to 70 percent, he said.

Airbus produces six A220s a month and plans to produce 14 aircraft a month by the middle of the decade. The stretch version “makes a lot of sense for us, but at a certain point in time,” Faury said, pointing out that the A220 program, which now consists of the -200 and -300, must be profitable before Airbus commits to development. A220-500. Airbus’ backlog includes around 800 A220s.

Regarding the wide-body market, Faury noted that Airbus wants to strengthen its position and take market share from Boeing. “We want to do something on a broad level [market] similar to what we’ve done on narrowbodies,” he said, adding that part of the ambition is driven by the launch of the A350F last year. However, Airbus’s wide-body segment as a whole remains unprofitable, but should break even next year. “By 2023, we expect to turn around financially,” Assam told analysts, noting that the A350 had broken even before the pandemic.

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/air-transport/2022-09-23/airbus-maintains-outlook-700-commercial-deliveries-year Airbus maintains a forecast of 700 commercial deliveries this year

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