Airbus To Cut A320 Narrow-body Production Rate

Airbus A320 production rate will not return to normal this year as customers look to defer deliveries.

Airbus to cut A320 production by 50% Photo: Airbus

Airbus is looking forward to cut the production rate of its most popular A320 family of narrowbody aircraft and will not return to its previous production rate anytime soon.

The A320 family aircraft is currently produced at a rate of 60 planes per month. However, this rate may be cut by as much as 50% at least for this year.

A few months ago, Airbus was looking forward to increase the production to 63 by the end of 2021, and to 67 aircraft per month by 2023, to fulfill its large backlog. Airbus was planning to repurpose the A380 production line for this purpose.

Along with cutting production of the A320 family, the European planemaker is also expected to reduce the rate of twin aisle aircraft, the A350 and A330 wide-bodies, according to sources.

Airbus A350 final assembly line at Toulouse Photo: Airbus 

The A350 is currently produced at a rate of 9 to 10 aircraft per month. The aircraft manufacturer was also expecting to produce a total of 40 A330s this year.

This decision has not yet been announced by Airbus. A final decision is expected before the company's shareholder meeting in mid-April as reported by Reuters. Airbus said in a statement:

"Airbus is closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation worldwide and is in constant dialogue with customers, suppliers and institutional partners."

"Airbus is in the process of accessing the implications of the pandemic on its operations and the potential mitigation measures that could be implemented. The company will not provide further comment at this stage."

Airbus A320 assembly line at Hamburg Photo: Airline Reporter

Suppliers have been asked to slow down the production and delivery of parts by 40% to a rate compatible with production of 36 jets a month in the near term, as per reports.

Suppliers told the Financial Times said that they expected Airbus to update them on the new rates around mid-April.

Airlines around the world have grounded their fleets and are planning to defer the deliveries of new aircraft due to shortage of cash and travel restrictions that have both hurt travel demand.

Along with Airbus, Boeing is also studying sharp cuts in production of its popular Boeing 777 wide-body jets.

Airbus A320 assembly line in Tianjin, China which is currently closed Photo: Airbus

Aircraft manufacturers are planning this to avoid a glut of undelivered jets due to ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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