Airbus is to raise A320-family production rates to 42 aircraft per month from the fourth quarter of next year, in stages from the current monthly rate of 36.

It will increase the rate to 38 in August this year and 40 in the first quarter of 2012, but has gained enough confidence in its supply-chain management to hike the rate again at the end of 2012.

The airframer, which had an A320-family backlog of 2,367 jets at the end of April, has been considering a possible further increase to 44.

"With a backlog of over 2,300 A320-family aircraft to deliver, we need to increase production to accommodate continuing strong customer demand for these new eco-efficient aircraft," said executive vice-president for programmes Tom Williams.

Airbus is aiming to deliver up to 530 aircraft across its range this year, against 510 in 2010. Last year's delivery figures included 401 A320-family jets; over the first four months of 2011 Airbus delivered 132.

Monthly production of Airbus A330s stands at 8.5, increasing to nine in early 2012 and 10 in the second quarter of 2013.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news