Airbus aircraft demand hopes boosted by Dubai orders – CEO
DUBAI, Nov. 17 (Reuters) – A spate of aircraft orders at the Dubai Airshow this week has boosted Airbus’ hopes of increasing production, but the automaker is not yet ready to pull the trigger , said its top executive.
Airbus SE (AIR.PA) recorded 265 firm orders at the Middle East event, closing a gap with Boeing (BA.N) which led this year as sales of its 737 MAX rebound after a security crisis.
Another 139 draft orders brought Airbus’ total in Dubai to more than 400 jets, while Boeing won a firm order for 72 MAX.
CEO Guillaume Faury said Airbus has definitely agreed to increase production to 65 single-aisle per month by summer 2025, up from an expected average of 45 this quarter.
Beyond that, Airbus has asked suppliers to explore rates of 70 in early 2024 and 75 by 2025, but has not made a decision.
Some vendors have criticized the plans, fearing the pandemic recovery may remain uneven.
“We are in the demand assessment phase,” Faury told Reuters in an interview this week.
“What happened (in Dubai) is important, because with other perspectives or agreements to come, it gives substance and… proof that the demand we see for the 70, 75 rates will be sustained for many years to come. many years.”
This “inside” view of demand – based on the orders Airbus receives and its own assumptions based on discussions with airlines – matches the “outside” or top-down image provided by the news. Airbus market forecast released at the show, he said. noted.
NOT THERE YET
The forecasts cover 20 years and the categories overlap, so they cannot easily be used to assess the short-term output of a specific model. But Faury said the latest report was in line with demand for “maybe 70, 75” A320 Family jets per month this decade.
“So if these simulation tools and these sensors continue to be as robust as they’ve demonstrated in the past, we think 70.75 is reasonable, but we’re not there yet,” said Faury.
Industry sources say Airbus intends to make a decision by the middle of next year to give suppliers time to respond.
Faury said he received encouraging signals during recent talks with groups of French and German suppliers.
In private, some providers are less optimistic. “I think most still think it’s going to be bumpy,” a senior industry source said.
Airbus deliveries have stabilized over the past three months, in part due to supply chain issues.
Faury said the overall supply chain burden had eased, however, due to a drop in demand for widebody aircraft.
He declined to be shot over a recent row with engine manufacturers who oppose plans to increase the A320 Family’s monthly production beyond 65 to make room for repair revenue on older aircraft who might otherwise be put into early retirement.
Faury said he respects their concerns, as well as those of donors, and that any decisions will be made “as a community”.
Airbus appears to be concerned that disputes over production plans will dissuade suppliers from making the necessary investments to reach the first milestone of 65 per month, roughly where production was before the pandemic.
“We’re going to 65: it’s decided … We run that. But we haven’t decided anything beyond that,” Faury said.
Reporting by Tim Hepher, Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Karishma Singh
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