© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Airbus logo is pictured at the entrance to the Airbus factory in Bouguenais, near Nantes, France, July 2, 2020. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe
By Tim Hepher
DUBLIN (Reuters) – Airbus in Europe has confirmed plans to increase production of its best-selling A320 family narrow-body jets by 50% from current levels to a record 75 per month in 2025, as it posted higher-than-expected quarterly results on Wednesday.
The world’s largest planemaker is already restoring production of the high-demand single-aisle models as pandemic travel restrictions ease – with an interim target of 65 A320 Family jets per month by summer 2023, up from 50 per month now.
On Wednesday, it said it would go further and continue to increase monthly production beyond that date to reach 75 per month by the middle of the decade, cementing proposals tentatively aired last year.
The engine manufacturers, who had carried out a rearguard action by suppliers worried that they would only have to invest to cope with overcapacity if Airbus forecasts turned out to be optimistic, partly opened the door to a rise the last week, saying that they had agreed on quotas for 2024.
But some experts fear widespread shortages in global supply chains could disrupt higher production in the near term, while aircraft financiers gathered for annual conferences in Dublin fear high production could depress existing assets .
Airbus Chief Executive Guillaume Faury said in a statement that the global aerospace industry would benefit from the increased production, which leaves the European manufacturer on track for production well ahead of announced plans. by rival Boeing (NYSE:).
Airbus said its benchmark adjusted operating profit rose 82% to 1.26 billion euros in the first quarter thanks to higher deliveries and a one-time change in pension measures, offset by the impact of sanctions against Russia because of the war in Ukraine.
Revenue rose 15% to 12 billion euros as Airbus did not change its financial targets for the year.
Meanwhile, it has confirmed a postponement of its new A321XLR to early 2024 as it continues discussions with regulators.