DUBAI: Airbus sales to fall in 2012 but output will rise

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Airbus is, unsurprisingly, not expecting to repeat this year's bumper order intake, as slots for the A320neo family become increasingly scarce, but forecasts that it will achieve greater output.

The airframer is expecting to deliver up to 530 aircraft this year but has already taken over 1,500 orders in 2011. Airbus has secured deals for 1,268 firm A320neos, most of them this year.

Chief operating officer for customers John Leahy said the manufacturer was "selling out [A320neos] into the 2020 time period", which restricted options for carriers yet to sign up.

"Gross sales will be down for the year [2012] but production will be up," he said, during a briefing at the Dubai air show.

Airbus plans to increase A320 production to 42 per month, in stages, by the end of 2012.