Planemaker Airbus today upped its jet production targets, saying that the sector’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic had now begun.
The European aerospace giant said that a recovery in single-aisle planes would lead the commercial market back to pre-Covid levels between 2023 and 2025.
Investors flocked to the firm’s bullishness, with shares in Airbus up 9.1 per cent by the early afternoon.
The engineer confirmed it would increase single-aisle A320neo production by more than 10 per cent this year, from the current rate of 40 airplanes a month to 45 a month.
It also set suppliers a new target of producing a record 64 a month by the second quarter of 2023, which would beat its previous production record of 60 a month.
“The aviation sector is beginning to recover from the Covid-19 crisis”, said chief executive Guillaume Faury.
“The message to our supplier community provides visibility to the entire industrial ecosystem to secure the necessary capabilities and be ready when market conditions call for it.
“In parallel, we are transforming our industrial system by optimising our aerostructures set-up and modernising our A320 Family production facilities. All these actions are set in motion to prepare our future.”
After a dire 15 months for the industry, in which Airbus cut 15,000 jobs, today’s announcement is the latest expression of confidence from a mauled sector.
Both Airbus and its US rival Boeing have seen airlines cancel jet orders and deliveries in droves due to the plunge in air travel, while UK blue-chip Rolls-Royce has been crippled by the shortfall in flying hours.