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Airbus looks to hike A321neo's share of production

Airbus is examining strategies to increase the proportion of A321neo output within its single-aisle production system, as demand for the variant rises.

The airframer says it is "studying different options" to allocate a larger share of production capacity to the A321neo, given the popularity of the reconfigured Airbus Cabin Flex version of the twinjet and the newly-launched long-range A321XLR.

But the company acknowledges in a half-year briefing that ramp-up of the ACF version "remains challenging".

Over the first six months of this year the airframer delivered 71 A321neos out of 294 A320- and A320neo-family jets.

It had taken orders for 2,686 A321neos by the end of June including several for the XLR variant, unveiled during the Paris air show.

This means the A321neo accounts for 40% of all orders for the re-engined A320neo family.

Airbus says the transition to, and production ramp-up of, the re-engined jets is driving a strong financial performance.

Its commercial aircraft adjusted EBIT figure for the second quarter doubled to €1.8 billion, and increased over the first half to €2.3 billion from €867 million.

"We continue to see good demand for our competitive product portfolio, including the new A321XLR, as shown by the strong market endorsement [in Paris]," says chief executive Guillaume Faury.

He says Airbus's operational focus is "mainly" on the A320neo ramp-up process, pointing out that second-half deliveries continue to be "challenging" as the company strives to meet a full-year target of 880-890 aircraft overall.

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