Airbus is confident in the capability of the supply chain to keep pace with rising airliner production rates as it continues to study further increases in production.
Speaking at the Singapore air show, Eric Schulz, Airbus commercial aircraft’s sales, marketing and contracts chief, acknowledged that increasing production across both the major airframers’ lines is a challenge for suppliers, but he expects the industry to cope.
“I believe that each of the suppliers has plans in place today that means they can anticipate the growth coming,” he says. “I’m quite confident that the supply chain can cope and that it will be able to raise rates as we do.”
Airbus delivered 558 A320 family aircraft in 2017 and is moving towards a rate of 60 per month. Boeing shipped 529 737s last year. Output is rising through 52 a month this year to reach 57 in 2019.
Airbus’s outgoing commercial aircraft president Fabrice Bregier forecasted last month that Airbus single-aisle production will be “well above rate 60 in 2019” and Schulz confirms that studies are ongoing about higher output.
“Clearly the success of the product is forcing us to look at any opportunity to improve the rate,” he says. “We’ve not come to any conclusion yet but this is something we are looking very, very closely at.”