LONDON – Airbus has stated it is “confident” over a plan to increase the production of its Airbus A320 Family aircraft during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the current plans, it will be increasing production to 47 aircraft a month from next year, and is confident due to the manufacturer stress-testing its backlog of orders for the aircraft, and is comfortable with the strategy it has at the moment.

Therefore, Airbus has told its suppliers to prepare for the increased input into the production line, even with sceptics saying that this is unsustainable in the current climate.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Strong Delivery Numbers to Support Production?

The European manufacturer also has another point to make regarding the increase in production. Its current delivery numbers at the moment.

Last month saw Airbus deliver 72 jets, which amounts to 2.3 aircraft per day, which is strong and steady given the high number of delivery deferrals taking place in the industry currently.

On top of this, airlines still remain confident in the program as there has been barely any cancellations, compared to what has been seen across the pond with the Boeing 737 MAX.

Reuters reported the level of flexibility Airbus currently has over the weekend, with the giant able to find buyers for six Airbus A320neo aircraft that were originally destined for AirAsia in Malaysia.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Still Has Surplus Stock, Performing Better than Boeing

On top of the six aircraft for AirAsia (AK), there were an additional four units that were able to find a new buyer. This means that Airbus reduced its surplus aircraft by 10, down to 135 units that have been built and are in storage at the present time.

Of course, such aircraft in storage have caused a depreciation in value, with IBA Group stating that the value of the A321neo has dropped by five per cent.

However, this is still in better performance to Boeing’s 737 MAX, of which it’s inherent value is trading around 10% less, but is due to the 20-month long grounding process.

Photo: Airbus

Positive Steps Ahead for Airbus?

While Airbus has struggled this year due to the pandemic, featuring compulsory layoffs and production restrictions in Mirabel (YMX), the manufacturer has still made some positive strives.

September this year saw the manufacturer top Boeing as the biggest aerospace company in the world after Boeing’s sales dropped to $76bn and Airbus’ rose to $78.9bn.

On top of this, Airbus has been bringing new concepts forward, even in the midst of the pandemic such as the A220 Airbus Corporate Jets as well as preparing for the production of the A321XLR.

And with the 76 jets delivered in October, it also delivered 57 in September, which was up from 39 in August, showing a more consistent pattern of growth.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Looking Ahead

It remains clear that irrespective of the beatings the manufacturer has taken, Airbus has been able to remain strong during this volatile period.

Through restructuring and announcing new projects and bringing existing projects forward, the European manufacturer has the opportunity to market itself in a unique and positive way post-COVID.

It will be interesting to see how the manufacturer behaves over the next 12 months, especially with airlines wanting to restore as much capacity as possible, meaning more aircraft will be needed not just in the long-term, but in the short-term as well.

Featured Image: Airbus A321neo. Photo Credit: Travelling Tiger.