Airbus is taking an initial look at requirements for increasing A320 production to an extraordinary 50 aircraft per month, as it forecasts a strong increase in demand for single-aisle jets over the next 20 years.
The airframer's latest global market outlook, covering the period from 2011 to 2030, raised the new-build single-aisle demand by 7%, meaning that its A320neo family will be battling for a share of 19,165 deliveries over the next two decades.
Speaking as the manufacturer disclosed the figures, Airbus chief operating officer for customers John Leahy said the airframer had already committed to increasing production to 42 per month and was "studying" a further rise to 44. He said the company was confident about reaching a decision on such an increase "in the not-too-distant future".
But he also said that Airbus was taking a preliminary look at what might be involved in pushing the rate up to 50. Airbus had an A320 backlog of 3,132 at the end of August.
Engine manufacturers would probably be able to cope with the higher rate, said Leahy: "It tends to be some of the smaller suppliers that get you into trouble."