Airbus has confirmed plans to open an additional A320 Family production line in Hamburg as part of moves to increase the production rate of its popular single-aisle aircraft to 60 a month by the middle of 2019.
The manufacturer’s executive vice-president for programs Didier Evrard said growing demand for single aisle aircraft and an “impressive” backlog for both the current models of the A320 and the A320neo (new engine option) was behind the decision to ramp-up production.
“I am confident that we have the highest skilled teams and the right solutions in place to gradually move to the highest production rate ever achieved in civil aviation history,” Evrard said in a statement.
In addition to an additional production line at Airbus’s Hamburg facility, the company is also integrating some of its cabin furnishing work for the A320 Family at its Tolouse final assembly line, which would harmonise the production process across all of Airbus’s A320 final assembly lines around the world.
Currently, Airbus conducts final assembly for its A320 family of aircraft at Hamburg (Germany), Toulouse (France), Tianjing (China) and Mobile (US), with the four sites building 42 aircraft a month. It flagged a rate increase to 60 a month in June 2015.
The company has already confirmed plans to increase the production rate to 50 aircraft a month by early 2017.
Airbus has a backlog of 5,502 single-aisle aircraft at September 30 2015, according to the company’s website.
A320 operators in this part of the world include Jetstar, Air New Zealand, Tigerair Australia and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines.