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4 September 2016 · 2 min read

Busy summer at Airbus

Record breaking number of deliveries in August

In last week’s blog I highlighted that Boeing and Lockheed Martin had been busy over the traditionally quiet month of August. A recent Reuters interview with Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier suggest that engineers in Toulouse have also been unusually industrious this summer. Airbus has not yet published official orders and deliveries data for August, but Bregier said “I can already tell you is that it will be the best month of August in Airbus’s history, in terms of the numbers of planes delivered”.

Importantly and encouragingly, Airbus has met its target of delivering six A350s in August. In the first half of the year the supply chain was struggling to provide the cabin equipment on time. By the end of July only fifteen finished aircraft had been handed to customers, making the annual target of “at least 50” aircraft look ambitious. Bregier said “It doesn’t mean the 50 are in the bag, but if we keep up that rhythm of six to seven aircraft a month over the next four months, then we shouldn’t be too, too far off”. Notably though he has toned down his language and now appears to be targeting 50 rather than at least 50.

Bregier reported that Airbus staff have responded to requests to stagger holidays and work extra hours of the summer. This is indicative of how well management has managed to implement cultural change at the European aircraft manufacturer. However, there is still a significant amount of catching up required on the A350 programme.

Bregier did not specify how many A320neos have been delivered in August where deliveries have also been slow this year due to the engine troubles I wrote about recently. However, he said that staff have also been working overtime on the A320neo in order to catch up so we await the official delivery figures with interest. The fourth quarter of the year is traditionally Airbus’ busiest for deliveries; it is targeting at least 650 aircraft for the full year 2016 and had delivered 339 at the end of July.

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