Airbus has told suppliers that it expects record production of its best-selling aircraft within two years, a sign of the manufacturer’s hopes for a late but strong recovery in aviation after the coronavirus pandemic.
The European manufacturer announced Thursday that it would increase production of A320 single-aisle aircraft to 45 per month by October, from 40 previously.
However, he said suppliers should be ready for a rate of 64 per month by spring 2023 for the A320, which is well suited for short-haul travel that is expected to rebound the fastest. That would exceed its previous highest rate target of 63, followed by 70 per month in early 2024 and 75 in 2025.
The aerospace industry suffered months of weak aircraft demand during the pandemic as airline customers slashed orders as revenues dried up. Airbus and its US rival, Boeing, have together cut tens of thousands of jobs around the world due to falling demand. Demand for Boeing aircraft has been hit again by the crisis of its best-selling 737 Max, which was grounded for more than a year after two fatal crashes caused by malfunctions.
There is still confusion over when people around the world will be allowed to travel for tourism purposes. On Wednesday, airline and holiday business bosses attacked the UK government’s “utterly confusing” advice on overseas travel.
However, aerospace analysts have long expected demand for air travel – alongside the industry’s carbon emissions – to quickly surpass pre-pandemic levels once vaccines begin to lower the risk of the coronavirus. In the long run, the growth of the middle class in Asia and Africa is expected to continue the structural growth in the number of flights.
“The aviation sector is starting to recover from the Covid-19 crisis,” said Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus. “The message to our community of suppliers provides visibility to the entire industrial ecosystem to secure the necessary capabilities and be ready when market conditions require. “
The sharp production cuts by Airbus and Boeing in 2020 have trickled down to the industry, with suppliers such as Britain’s Rolls-Royce making and servicing engines particularly affected. Airbus shares rose 6% while Rolls-Royce shares gained 3% on Thursday morning.
Airbus’ record sales would likely mean a correlated increase in the total carbon dioxide emissions of its products, even as the efficiency of individual aircraft increases. In February, Airbus revealed that it expects planes sold in 2019 and 2020 to emit more than a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide over their lifetime.
Airbus also plans to increase production of its small single-aisle A220 from five per month to six by early 2022, and from 14 per month by 2025. The two-aisle A350 will drop from five to six by fall 2022, reflecting the expected slowdown in the recovery. in long-haul travel.