A320 rate hike would need to be sustainable: Airbus

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Airbus is analysing the potential weak points in its supply chain in order to decide whether it can realistically raise its A320 production rate again.

It recently indicated that it could take the rate up to 42 or even 44 aircraft per month.

The company wants to ensure that it can sustain such a hike for "a reasonable period of time," said executive vice-president for programmes Tom Williams, speaking in Toulouse yesterday.

He says Airbus does not want to "jack up and down" the production rate.

Williams states that the airframer is looking at the "critical suppliers" and the detail in the supply chain to establish "where the bottlenecks might be".

Airbus is already intending to raise the rate to 40 in 2012, from 36.