Airbus to keep A320 output at 40 per month

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European aircraft giant Airbus said Friday it will maintain production of its workhorse A320 plane at 40 per month to mid-2021 when it expects the aviation industry to have recovered from the coronavirus pandemic.

"We have asked our suppliers to manage their capacity so as to support a production rate of 47 per month and to prepare for an eventual recovery in the market" next summer, a company spokesman said.

"It is not a decision to increase production to 47 of the A320 family," he said when asked to comment on reports about an increase to 47 A320 aircraft per month.

"On the A320 series, we expect to maintain output at 40 per month until summer 2021," he said.

The request for suppliers to ensure output was meant to give them visibility "and to guarantee that the industrial base is ready to increase production when conditions improve," he added.

"That also reflects our analysis that the first market sector to recover (from the pandemic) will be single-aisle aircraft."

The coronavirus brought to a virtual halt earlier this year when Airbus was producing about 63-65 A320 planes a month.

It cut that number to 40 a month in April, with total output slashed by about 40 percent across its whole business.

Overall, the company expects the aviation to recover only between 2023 and 2025, with the industry and tourism among the sectors worst hit by the virus.

© 2020 AFP

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