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Airbus cuts full-year aircraft delivery forecast

Airbus has cut its commercial aircraft delivery forecast to 860 aircraft, down from the previous 880-890, as it continues to deal with production ramp-up on its single-aisle lines.

The airframer had been faced with handing over at least 309 aircraft in the fourth quarter to meet the original delivery target.

But Airbus acknowledges that it is still working to smooth production on its single-aisle range.

Chief executive Guillaume Faury says the company is "focused" on A320neo ramp-up and "improving the industrial flow" while managing the "higher level of complexity" associated with its reconfigured A321neo.

This A321neo programme "remains challenging", says the manufacturer, but it expects further ramp-up of output during the fourth quarter.

Airbus says, however, that efforts will be "continuing throughout 2020" to improve the "industrial maturity" of the A321neo programme, and it is still looking at options to increase the share of production capacity of the larger model.

The airframer had delivered 571 aircraft over the first nine months of the year, including 422 from the A320 family. It is aiming to raise monthly A320-family output to 63 aircraft in 2021.

Airbus has also progressed with A330neo ramp-up – the re-engined type accounted for 26 of the 34 A330 deliveries in the first nine months – and the airframer says it is bringing recurring A350 cost convergence into line and is "on track" to reach breakeven targets for the year.

Faury says Airbus's financial performance over the nine-month period reflects the A320neo ramp-up and A350 progress, as well as a favourable mix among increased deliveries. Despite the lower delivery forecast the company is still maintaining its overall adjusted EBIT outlook.

Airbus commercial aircraft earnings rose by nearly two-thirds to €3.8 billion ($4.2 billion), while revenues were up 17% to €35.6 billion. The airframer continued to record charges associated with the A380 programme, booking costs of €22 million in the third quarter, taking the figure this year to €158 million.

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