Airbus Assembly A320 800

Airbus to Increase Jet Production During 2021

Jan. 21, 2021
A320 narrow-body aircraft output will increase from 40 to 45 jets per month in two stages, and the smaller A220 series will increase from four to five jets per month by Q2, with Airbus citing “the market environment.”

Airbus SE announced it will increase the production rate for its A320 series aircraft “in response to the market environment,” from the current rate of 40 jets/month to 43 jets/month in Q3 and 45 jets/month in Q4. In addition, the A220 monthly production rate will increase from four to five aircraft per month beginning at the end of Q1 2021.

The A320 series (A319, A320, A321) jets are assembled at plants in Toulouse, France, and Hamburg, Germany. The A220 series jets are assembled at plants in Montreal, Quebec, and Mobile, Ala.

The increase in production rates for Airbus narrow-body jet programs was under discussion starting in October, when the jet builder reportedly began to notify its suppliers of the forthcoming strategy. However, at that time Airbus had reportedly been targeting a rate of 47 A320 jets/month by July 2021.

Widebody aircraft production will remain at current levels (five jets/month for the Airbus A350; two jets/month for the A330.) transcontinental travel, which are the routes that are most relevant to widebody jets, continues to be severely reduced by the restrictions connected to the pandemic.

Production rates were slashed in June 2020 in response to airlines’ reduced orders and delivery rates, a consequence of falling air travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Airbus -- moving to reduce operating costs and to match its output to the new market outlook -- also implemented staffing reductions across all its divisions.

Airbus did not cite specific indicators of the factors now driving the rate increase but stated that it expects commercial aircraft demand to return to “pre-COVID levels by 2023 to 2025.”

“With these revised rates, Airbus preserves its ability to meet customer demand while protecting its ability to further adapt as the global market evolves,” it stated.

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