Airbus sees no need for a fundamental reshaping of the industrial set up supporting its A220 programme to cope with the ongoing issues experienced by wing supplier Spirit AeroSystems.

Spirit has been seeking improved contract terms from Airbus for the work it performs on the A220 and A350 widebody.

Pre-Fal A220-c-Airbus

Source: Airbus

Airbus is seeking to raise output across two A220 production lines

This has led some observers to question whether the airframer would instead consider bringing that aerostructures work in-house, mirroring the integrated industrial set-up on its A320neo programme.

But Christian Scherer, chief executive of the airframer’s commercial aircraft business, says the immediate focus is “addressing the weaker links” in its supply chain as it seeks to ramp output to 14 aircraft per month by 2026.

Solving the issues in the supply chain “is what is driving us more than a strategic redesign of the set-up of the A220,” he said, briefing journalists at the Singapore air show on 20 February. “Now is not the time to do that.”

Although Airbus “does not rule out” any solutions “in how we address the tactical issues we are facing in the supply chain”, it is “not on a mission right now to re-organise our industrial set-up”, he adds.

Additionally, a potential stretch of the A220 – dubbed the -500 – is also “not at the forefront of our to-do list right now,” he adds.

Instead, the focus is maintaining the “trajectory” of the A220 programme towards the 14-per-month output across its two production lines in Mirabel in Canada and Mobile in the USA. While noting the ramp-up is “pretty steep” Scherer is confident the twinjet is on track to hit its goal by 2026.

Last year, the airframer handed over 68 A220s, an average rate of 5.6 aircrft per month.

Elsewhere, the airframer continues to battle multiple pinch-points across its wider supply chain. “We have weak links at pretty much every level of the supply chain,” he says.