PARIS: Airbus has asked suppliers to be ready to support a conditional 18 per cent increase in production of its best-selling single-aisle A320 jet family to 47 jets a month as early as the second half of 2020, the European planemaker said on Thursday (Oct 22).
It is among the first moves by the aerospace industry to prepare for a possible bounce back from the coronavirus crisis and comes days after a major buyer, Wizz Air, predicted a quick rebound for financially resilient low-cost airlines.
However, the plan for an increase depends on a comprehensive recovery of the planemaker's biggest customers that have ordered hundreds of jets, including airlines in Southeast Asia which are currently struggling to take deliveries, industry sources said.
Airbus said it had asked suppliers to "protect" a production rate of 47 A320-family jets a month, meaning that it wants suppliers to be ready to support that rate whenever called on.
The earliest such a switch could take place would be July next year, but no decision has been taken.
"For the A320 family, we plan to maintain rate 40 until summer next year and we have asked the supply chain to protect rate 47 to be prepared for when the market recovers," a spokesman said, confirming a Financial Times report.