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Airbus to take A320 rate to 60 with new Hamburg line

Airbus is to raise its monthly production rate of A320-family aircraft to 60 jets in mid-2019, by opening a new line at Hamburg.

The airframer, which has been considering a hike in the rate to meet strong demand for its re-engined A320neo, has confirmed the decision following supply-chain analysis.

Airbus says it has carried out “thorough” studies on whether the chain and its assembly sites – which include the new plant at Mobile in Alabama – can handle the rate increase.

It will create an additional A320 line at its Hamburg Finkenwerder plant as part of the capacity plan.

Airbus adds that it will integrate cabin-fitting activity for Toulouse-built A320s into the final assembly line at the French site.

This integration will result in a harmonised production mechanism across its four main A320 facilities.

Airbus programmes chief Didier Evrard says the ramp-up is the consequence of an “impressive” backlog for the type.

The airframer’s figures at the end of September showed that it had a backlog of just over 5,500 A320s and A320neos.

Airbus had previously committed to increase the monthly rate to 50 from 2017. Evrard says he is “confident” that the company can achieve the higher output.

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