European aircraft manufacturer Airbus announced that it would ramp up its best-selling Airbus A320 aircraft family production rate in anticipation of the commercial aircraft market reaching pre-pandemic levels between 2023 and 2025. The move stands out in an industry that still struggles after the pandemic took its toll on travel demand.
“The aviation sector is beginning to recover from the COVID-19 crisis”, said Guillaume Faury, the Airbus CEO.
In the message on production plans, Airbus called on suppliers to be ready to raise output of its narrow-body Airbus A320 aircraft family. The aircraft manufacturer confirmed an average production rate to reach 45 aircraft per month in Q4 2021. Airbus also outlined plans to secure a firm output of 64 aircraft per month in Q2 2023. In anticipation of market recovery, Airbus said that the figure of Airbus A320 aircraft family production rate could rise to 70 by Q1 2024 and 75 by 2025.
To date, Airbus average production rates for the A320 aircraft family totalled 40 aircraft per month, according to Airbus statement released on January 21, 2021.
“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,” Faury added.
In 2021, the Airbus A220 and the Airbus A350 aircraft production rates stand at an average of five per month. However, Airbus expects to increase them to six by autumn 2022. As for the Airbus A330 family, production remains at an average monthly rate of two per month without plans to ramp it up in the near future.
On May 21, 2021, Airbus announced it had started its first Airbus A321 Extra Long Range (XLR) aircraft structural production, marking a significant milestone in the Airbus A321XLR program.
“It’s a major milestone for the A321XLR program. The teams can be proud of this achievement and the overall speed of industrialization. We are on track with our planning,” said Martin Schnoor, the Head of A321 XLR Program Development Airframe Program.