Airbus slows production

Airbus is adapting production rates of its A320 Family programme from 36 to 34 a month from October 2009 onwards. It said in a statement that production rates of the A330/A340 family will remain at the current level of 8.5 a month, and not be raised further as previously planned.

This decision reflects Airbus' current view on market demand in times of airlines adapting their capacities and of continuing uncertainties caused by the worldwide economic crisis.

However European manufacturer clarified that at this point, no impact on employment is foreseen.

Tom Enders, Airbus chief executive officer, said, "We monitor the market continuously and try to be proactive. Flexibility and adaptability are essential in times of crises. We reached record production rates in late 2008, but now we see a drop of air traffic in most regions. Many airlines are taking capacity out of the market. I do not exclude further production cuts if the need arises."

Airbus achieved a record high of 483 deliveries in 2008 and aims to achieve a similar figure in 2009. It said that this precautionary measure will not affect the 2009 Airbus delivery target.

With a backlog of more than 3,600 aircraft, and the Power 8 improvement programme making good progress, Airbus is in a position to face up to the short-term challenges posed by the downturn whilst preparing for a strong future.