Airbus indicates that it sees potential for a further small hike in A320-family monthly production rates beyond the 63 already planned for 2021.

The airframer says it “sees a clear path” to increasing the rate by one or two aircraft per month for 2022 and 2023 – potentially taking the monthly output to 65 or 67 over the period.

Airbus estimates it will deliver 880 aircraft this year, a target around the level it had originally intended to meet last year, before it revised the figure downwards and ultimately delivered 863.

The airframer says the more conservative figure of 880 for 2020 illustrates its focus on maintaining quality and control over the ramp-up of its programmes, particularly the single-aisle lines.

Airbus delivered 551 A320neo-family jets last year out of a total of 642 for the A320 programme.

These included around 100 more deliveries of the ‘Airbus Cabin Flex’ version of the A321neo, a programme which has been causing industrial difficulties for the airframer as it adjusts not only to increased demand for the larger jet but the complex configuration changes resulting from customers’ plans to use the type on long-range sectors.

“Airbus teams are focused on securing the ongoing [A321neo ACF] ramp-up and improving the industrial flow,” says the company.

It has already disclosed that it plans to build a further A321neo assembly line, to be located in Toulouse, as part of its ramp-up strategy.