Airbus has announced that it will increase the production rate of its A320 Family lines, while Boeing has indicated that it is examining possibly raising output on its 737NG and 777 lines.
From December Airbus will lift its production rate for the A320 Family to 36 per month, an additional two aircraft each month. The company says that the decision has followed continued strong demand for the aircraft, as well as the improving economic conditions.
“Thanks to our proactive order book management we have been able to keep production stable during the year of the downturn, but now it is definitely time to think ahead,” said Tom Williams, Airbus’s executive vice president programs. “Aviation is a long term growth industry. With our prudent decision we will be ready when the market recovers.”
Boeing appears set to follow suit, with CEO Jim Albaugh telling a JP Morgan conference in the USA that his company could make a decision by the middle of the year, although he did not elaborate how many additional aircraft would be produced. “We are sold out in 2011,” said Albaugh. “We are over committed in 2012. We think we’re coming back into a positive cycle in the marketplace.”
Albaugh added that the company will make a decision in April on a possible increase in 777 output, which would take place in 2011. “We need to feel very, very confident that we can go to the six or seven airplanes (a month), whatever we might decide to do and we need to be able to stay there for years to come,” he said.