Airbus is confident that it has overcome the powerplant supply issues which had obstructed deliveries of A330neos, and expects to hand over more re-engined versions of the twinjet this year than previous conventional variants.
But the airframer adds that it is maintaining a tighter control on production in order to avoid price repercussions in the twin-aisle market.
Speaking during an interim results briefing Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury said that the primary challenge was moving A330neos to the delivery centre, noting the complexities associated with heads-of-version aircraft, but that the year-end outlook for the type “looks good”.
Airbus has trimmed A330 production to around 50 aircraft this year, with the A330neo – powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines – making up more than half.
It delivered 13 A330neos in the first six months of this year, plus two A330-200s and two -300s, which means the second half will be back-loaded.
“There is a lot of complexity and challenges,” admits Faury. “But we’re getting the engines to support [our delivery] perspective in 2019.”
Faury stresses that the airframer is keen to avoid exacerbating the pressures posed by a “complex geopolitical and competitive environment” in the twin-aisle sector.
“The first thing we’ve done is to size production capacity at a level we think we can sustain, without being forced into a price war,” he says.
He states that there is no “one size fits all” approach to negotiations with airlines regarding pricing, and that Airbus takes a “case by case” approach.
“We want to compete. We think we have better product,” says Faury, but says the company will only go to an “appropriate” level of concession “and not go further”.
Airbus recently unveiled an agreement from Air China for 20 A350s, after orders for the twinjet type proved notably absent during the Paris air show.
A350 production has been stabilised at 10 aircraft per month. Faury insists the combined output of A350s and A330s is the “right level” for its twin-aisle production rates.
Source: Cirium Dashboard