Airbus is to increase production of its single-aisle family to 46 aircraft per month in early 2016, from the current level of 42.

The airframer will take the rate of production to 44 in the first quarter of 2016 before hiking it again in the second quarter.

Airbus is raising the output in the wake of strong orders for the baseline A320 as well as the re-engined A320neo which have pushed the backlog for the types to more than 4,200.

"We have a solid case to increase our monthly output to satisfy our customers' requirement for more of our fuel-efficient aircraft," says Airbus executive vice-president for programmes Tom Williams.

The airframer had previously indicated that its backlog could support a strong rate rise but had held off while it examined the impact on the supply chain.

But Williams says that a "comprehensive assessment" of the chain has shown a "readiness" to back a ramp-up.

Airbus has three A320-family assembly facilities at Toulouse, Hamburg and Tianjin. It is constructing a fourth at Mobile in Alabama, which will start producing aircraft in 2016, with output rising to some 40-50 annually in 2018.

Source: Cirium Dashboard