Airbus ups production targets as firm plans for 40k deliveries in next 20 years 

Airbus A350-1000
ILya Oslyakov /

Airbus has announced details of the planemaker’s past nine months with the release of its 2023 results so far.  

Key to the announcement was Airbus’ confident prediction that the company would ramp up production of its narrowbody and widebody aircraft in the future. 

Discussing the results following the nine-month update, Airbus Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Guillaume Faury, told Bloomberg in an interview that the planemaker expects 40,000 aircraft to be delivered over the next 20 years. 

Airbus has seen a strong performance in 2023 with net orders of 1,241 aircraft after cancellations compared with 647 aircraft in the first nine months of 2023. This now leaves the order backlog at a whopping 7,992 commercial aircraft. 

So far, a total of 488 commercial aircraft have been delivered in 2023, comprising 41 A220s, 391 A320 family, 20 A330s and 36 A350s. 

The company plans to fulfil its target of “around” 720 deliveries by the end of 2023 so faces a busy end to the year. 

“We’ve delivered 71 planes in October. So, what we have to deliver for November and December this year is similar to what we did a year ago. So, it is indeed a big quarter, but we see we have part of that quarter already behind us with our performance in October. We think we are well placed for November and visibility for December. That’s why we feel like we are in a good place to confirm the guidance of around 720 planes in 2023,” Faury told Bloomberg. 

The delivery of 71 planes in October 2023, represented an increase of 18% from the same month in 2022 and leaves Airbus needing to deliver 161 jets over the final months of the year. 

Consolidated revenues increased 12% year-on-year to €42.6 billion ($45.5B) and Consolidated EBIT Adjusted increased to €3,631 million ($3,884M) so far in 2023 against (3,724M) over the same period.  

Notably Airbus confirmed that it will increase its production rate for the A350 to 10 aircraft a month in 2026. Faury also said that this could increase to 13 a month in the future.  

The ramp-up on the A220 program is continuing towards a monthly production rate of 14 aircraft in 2026 and Airbus will continue to target a rate of four a month for the A330 in 2024. 

Production on the A320 family program is progressing well towards the previously announced rate of 75 aircraft per month in 2026.  

“We continue to make progress on our operational plan in a global environment that has become increasingly complex. The nine-month earnings reflect higher commercial aircraft deliveries, the good performance in helicopters as well as charges linked to the reassessment of certain satellite development programs,” Faury said in the Airbus statement.  

The CEO added: “Demand for our commercial aircraft is very strong with a continuing recovery in the widebody market. We expect the supply chain to remain challenging as we progress on the production ramp-up. In that context, we maintain our guidance for the full year.” 

The latest financial report also confirmed that the A321XLR is progressing towards certification, with entry-into-service expected to take place in Q2 2024. 

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