Production of the A320, focus on the supply chain for Airbus in a context of commercial recovery


Airbus is focused on increasing its monthly production rate of A320s, like this British Airways featuring a new sustainability-themed livery, and remains on track to deliver 600 commercial aircraft this year, according to the call for results for the third quarter of October 28. . (Airbus)

The increase in commercial aircraft deliveries helped Airbus achieve a net profit of 2.635 billion euros ($ 3.055 billion) for the first nine months of 2021 compared to the loss of 2.686 billion euros (3.114 billion dollars) caused by the COVID-19 pandemic the company reported during the same time period. a year ago, based on third quarter results. Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury on Thursday discussed the French aircraft manufacturer’s plan to increase production of its A320 during a third-quarter earnings conference call, where analysts peppered it with questions about their Supply Chain.

A total of 424 commercial aircraft deliveries have been completed by Airbus through September 30, up from 341 in 2020, and they have an order book that now consists of 6,894 commercial orders. The company also notes that it received 137 total cancellations and 133 net orders for new aircraft this year.

Faury said Airbus was on track to meet its target of 600 aircraft deliveries by year-end, and a steady increase in A320 production to 65 per month by the summer. 2023. Faury said some of their suppliers are “suffering” more. than expected in a phase where they ramp up A320 production every six months, but their suppliers weren’t facing challenges significant enough to hamper their ramp-up trajectory over the next two years.

“And it is a fairly small number of suppliers that are at the origin of our current challenges. But we believe that this will, over time, be mastered. And therefore, we are not changing our trajectory for the ramp-up.” , Faury said. “How do we plan to help? In fact, we don’t plan to help. We have helped throughout the COVID-19 crisis, and I would say, a lot of time. There have been a lot of resources. Airbus who were involved. “

One of the main reasons Airbus is hyper-focused on ramping up production and maintaining the pace to reach 600 deliveries this year is to reduce the number of years that airlines that will place new aircraft orders. will have to wait. The company’s delivery windows are currently filled until the end of 2023, according to Faury.

Airbus also plans to increase production rates for the A220, A330 and A350 programs to a minimum between 2022 and 2023, further increasing the pressure on its supply chain to keep pace. The CEO of Airbus also said there was not a single area of ​​their supply chain that they could point to as a problem to speed up production.

“In preparing for this morning’s call, we were wondering whether we should select certain products or some of the suppliers or the countries where we operate and look at the problems that we are having with the suppliers. It’s more on a case-by-case basis,” Faury said. . “I don’t want to just single out, point the finger at some of the raw materials or supplies because we don’t see it today at Airbus. We think the things that we have right now, the topics, the issues that we have are things that we will be dealing with over the next month or so. ”

In his opening remarks, Faury also addressed the difference in commercial air passenger demand, which stood at around 70% of its 2019 levels domestically while remaining significantly lower internationally. Airbus continues to expect the commercial air transport market to fully recover by “2023 to 2025, with the domestic and regional market clearly leading the recovery,” Faury said.

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