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Airbus ramping up to meet production targets

Airbus is confident that it will meet its production targets for the year, despite the persistent hold-ups on the A350 and A320neo lines.

Chief operating officer customers John Leahy told reporters in Manila that the manufacturer is working hard to meet is targets during the fourth quarter, and is looking at ways to avoid the rush over those three months to meet its quota.

“We are working on that. We have tried very hard to smooth that out,” he said during a rountable media conference.

The efforts will see the manufacturer deliver some aircraft over the Christmas and new year period, and is in discussions with customers to firm up those deliveries.

Leahy reiterated earlier comments from that the manufacturer is on-track to meet its goal of delivering 50 A350-900s this year, despite the issues it has encountered with delays from interior components suppliers that had put it behind schedule.

“On the [buyer furnished equipment] suppliers like seats, galleys that sort of thing we are working through those problems and they are getting back under control,” he added.

Airbus has also faced challenges on the A320neo production, largely driven by supply issues of the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G as a result of startup and other technical issues that have plagued the engine.

“We believe that this will stay in flux for at least another year as they [Pratt & Whitney] try to catch up,” Leahy said.

On the upside, he adds that operators are seeing better than expected fuel savings from the geared turbofan engine.

“We say you get a 15% reduction in fuel burn, some of the early operators are saying that it is 1% better than that,” Leahy said.

Airbus has negated some of the production issues caused by the PW1100G problems by switching some production slots for neo-variants back to the A320ceo.

“What we have been able to do from a production standpoint is switch some of the neos that we were going to build as neos back into ceos. So we can keep production ramping up, and some people are willing to take ceos,” Leahy said.

He adds that the manufacturer is also on-track to meet its goal of producing 60 narrowbodies per month on 2019.

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