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.
The A320 Family includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321. It is recognised as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. More than 6,300 Airbus A320 Family aircraft have been sold and more than 3,700 delivered to more than 220 customers and operators worldwide, making it the world's best selling commercial jetliner ever. With proven reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single aisle aircraft.
The A330/A340 is a unique Family of six true wide-body aircraft models with capacities covering the 250 to 380 seat, regional to ultra long haul, passenger markets and the 64 to 69 tonne cargo market.
Thanks to high levels of passenger comfort and operational efficiency almost 1,400 Airbus A330/340 aircraft have been sold, with almost 950 in service with nearly 100 customers.