Airbus to take monthly A320 production to 40 jets

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Airbus is to increase the production rate of its A320-family jets again, taking it in phases to 40 per month by the first quarter of 2012.

The airframer currently produces the A320 at 34 aircraft per month but disclosed earlier this year that it would raise the rate to 36 in December.

But as a result of the upturn in the market, it says, the production rate will be increased to 38 in August next year and 40 in early 2012.

Airbus has a backlog of more than 2,200 A320-family aircraft. Executive vice-president for programmes Tom Williams says that recent orders are "clear evidence of a strong and positive trend towards recovery".

He says the "increased demand" for the jets, combined with a "healthy" backlog, has prompted the production decision.

There is no change to the production rate of its larger A330 and A340 aircraft, which remains at 8.5 per month.

Airbus delivered 250 aircraft over the first half of this year, slightly down on 2009, but says it is "well on track to set another delivery record" - suggesting that it is looking to exceed last year's total of 498.

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