Toulouse, France: Airbus will increase monthly production of its single-aisle A320 family to 40 for by the end of 2009. Two of the additional number, will come from the European plane-maker's Tianjin factory in the Bohai Rim.
The decision to ramp-up production rate of the A320 family is driven by strong demand for this aircraft, which has resulted in a record backlog in excess of 2,500 aircraft. As of now, Airbus produces 32 A320 family aircraft per month.
"This production increase confirms again that we continue to be an outstanding growth industry," said Louis Gallois, president and CEO of Airbus.
Production of Airbus'A330-A340 family, currently seven aircraft per month, is now scheduled to increase to eight in 2008 and to nine in 2009. The manufacturer has said that it is considering a further production rate increase, to be decided in the coming weeks.
The A320 family has already attained the highest jet airliner production rate in the history of aviation. Production is set to reach 34 by March 2008, rising to 36 in December 2008, to 38 by mid-2009 and 40 by the end of 2009. The A320 family is currently assembled in Toulouse and Hamburg. From 2008, production from a third assembly line in Tianjin, China, will be added to the final tally, with aircraft sections coming from Europe.
The new assembly line in China is a joint venture between a Chinese consortium, led by the Tianjin Free Trade Zone and Airbus. The facility will produce two aircraft per month by the end of 2009, rising to four in 2011. These production numbers are included in the final tally of 40 per month.
At the end of April this year, Airbus' order book for A320 family aircraft stood at 5,076 firm orders from 180 customers, far in excess of the 600 orders initially anticipated when the programme was launched.
In the past two years alone, the A320 family has received orders of around 1,600 aircraft, making it the fastest-selling modern jet airliner.