A320 family build-rate could hit 23 per month - BAe

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Airbus Industrie may increase its narrow-body production rate to 22 or 23 aircraft per month while wide-body deliveries could rise to 7 or 8 per month.

Airbus's current plan is to produce 19 narrow-body A319/A320/A321s per month by the end of this year with the wide-body rate rising to five a month.

British Aerospace chief executive, Sir Richard Evans, says Airbus is considering a higher rate but must take into account a number of factors including the current financial turmoil in Asia Pacific. He concedes the region is not a major market for narrow-bodies but it is an important consideration for the A330/A340 production rate.

Evans says: "We have to be happy with any increase and be able to deliver. I am confident we can avoid Boeing's problems, but it is clear that it is not a simple task, it’s a big management task, but I am absolutely confident [that the requirement] can be met."

Group managing director, Mike Turner, says the rate has increased by 50% in the last year and will increase by a further 30% by December. Two years ago, Airbus was turning out five narrow-bodies every month from the A320 line in Toulouse and the A319 and A321 lines in Hamburg, Germany.