Airbus to raise A320 production rate

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Airbus is stepping up its monthly A320 production rate to 36 aircraft, from 34, in order to prepare for market recovery.

The increase will come into effect from December this year. Production of its long-haul A330/340 family will be kept at eight airframes per month.

Airbus is aiming to keep its deliveries for 2010 around the same level as last year, when it delivered 498 aircraft including 402 A320-family jets.

By the end of February, the manufacturer's 2010 deliveries totalled 67 aircraft including 56 from its single-aisle range. Its A320 backlog comprised 2,358 aircraft.

a320 line

"Thanks to our pro-active order book management we have been able to keep production stable during the year of the downturn, but now it is definitely time to think ahead," says Airbus executive vice-president, programmes, Tom Williams.

Airbus' production rate on the A320 stood at 36 aircraft a year ago, when it stated that it would reduce the rate to 34 from October 2009.

Parent company EADS expects gross orders for the airframer to reach 250-300 aircraft this year.