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Airbus more confident it can manage A320 production hike

Airbus could make a decision over increasing its single-aisle production rate within days after gaining confidence that it can manage the ramp-up in the supply chain.

Parent company EADS's chief financial officer, Hans Peter Ring, admitted that the company had been wrestling with a possible rate increase for its A320 family given the strong backlog for the 2013-15 period.

Airbus has already indicated that it would increase the rate to 40 per month by the first quarter of 2012, but has also looked at raising it to 42 and even 44.

Ring said today that the airframer had "struggled with question of the supply chain, and we are maturing on that topic finally".

"We'll see likely an announcement in a few days," he said. "We feel more comfortable to make a first step - we have not yet said what the step will be, this is the last remaining question."

He said the airframer needed to ensure that it could keep the supply chain "under control". Ring added that the company had concerns across "a lot of different systems suppliers, particularly aerostructures suppliers, where we had to fix some quality issues which are there".

But he said there had been a "converging" over the past two or three months which cleared the way towards a production rate decision.

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