Airbus to ramp up assembly, CEO insists it can never be ‘quantity over quality’ 

Airbus A350
James Arup /

Airbus has published its 2023 results confirming plans to “ramp up” productions in the coming years and complete even more ambitious delivery targets.  

However, the Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury insisted in the company’s live press conference on February 15, 2024, that it will never compromise “quantity over quality” during production. 

In its 2023 results Airbus confirmed that the A220 ramp up continues with projections for a monthly production rate of 14 aircraft in 2026.  

While the A320 family program is said to be progressing well towards the previously announced rate of 75 aircraft per month in 2026.  

The Airbus A321XLR also entered the final stages of production in December 2023, with the aircraft expected to enter-into-service between July and September 2024.  

On widebody aircraft, the Airbus continues towards a monthly rate of four aircraft for the A330 in 2024 and rate 10 in 2026 for the A350. 

The end of year results also confirmed that Airbus delivered 735 aircraft in 2023, an 11% rise from the previous year, and plans for around 800 deliveries in 2024, while consolidated revenues increased 11% year-on-year to $70.1 billion. 

Deliveries in 2023 comprised 68 A220s, 571 A320 Family, 32 A330s and 64 A350s. 

Responding to a question at the annual results press conference from a New York Times journalist regarding quality and safety in the wake of the Alaska Airlines flight 1282 incident Faury was passionate in response.  

“It’s quite clear, it cannot be quantity over quality. We don’t want to deliver a number of planes, we want to deliver a number of planes that are high-quality and safe. That is something we make very clear to our teams. And we have a have a lot of discussions with the committee on those topics when we are in the acceleration, in particular at the end of the year when there are more planes coming to the delivery center,” Faury said.  

He added: “To be extremely clear we cannot do quantity at the detriment of quality, because what we deliver first is quality and safety.” 

Other Airbus results

Airbus also said that in 2023 it received 2,094 aircraft orders following cancellations, this compared with 820 in 2022.  

These figures were buoyed in 2023 by large orders from the Indian carrier IndiGo for 500 Airbus A320neo family aircraft and an additional order from Turkish Airlines for 220 Airbus jets.  

With such high demand for aircraft continuing throughout 2023 the current order backlog now stands at 8,598 commercial planes.   

Airbus Helicopters’ deliveries were stable at 346 units (2022: 344 units) with revenues rising 4 %, while at Airbus Defense and Space they increased 2%. 

“In 2023 we recorded strong order intake across all our businesses, and we delivered on our commitments. This was a significant achievement given the complexity of the operating environment. “We will continue to invest in our global industrial system, while progressing on our transformation and decarbonisation journey. Our dividend proposals are a reflection of the strong 2023 financials, our growth prospects in 2024 and balance sheet strength,” Faury concluded.  

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