Increased production of Airbus A320 signals good news for local partners

Airbus has decided to further increase the production rate for its very successful A320 Family to 50 aircraft per month from Q1 2017, matching market demand. Additionally, Airbus is adjusting the A330 production rate to six a month from Q1 2016 as it transitions towards the A330neo.

“As an aircraft manufacturer, it is our role, for our employees, partners, customers and investors to anticipate market demands whilst delivering on orders and managing revenues,” said Didier Evrard, Executive Vice President Programmes. “Given the success of the A320 Family, both CEO and NEO, we work closely with our supply chain, assess our manufacturing capabilities and decide on the most appropriate rate. On widebodies we are adjusting A330 production in preparation for transition to NEO, while in parallel the A350 XWB is on a steep ramp-up.”

With over 11,500 Airbus single aisle aircraft sold and more than 6,400 delivered to 317 operators, the A320 family which includes the A319, A320 and A321, is the world’s best-selling and most modern single aisle family.


Inside the Aerosud manufacturing plant

Airbus has the most modern and comprehensive widebody product line. It includes the versatile A330, the larger A350 XWB and the double deck A380. Together, the aircraft efficiently cover all airline widebody requirements for regional, medium and long haul operations, seating from 250 to over 500 passengers and sharing unique levels of operational commonality.

The announcement is good news for South African exports by Airbus’s South African suppliers, Aerosud, Cobham South Africa, their supply chains and other manufacturers of items that are incorporated into these aircraft.

Aerosud, the Centurion-based aerostructures business, makes the avionics bay racks, wing flap track cans and cabin interior parts for the A320 Family of 120-180 seat short/medium-range airliners.

Cape Town-based Cobham South Africa makes the satellite communications antennae and underlying components for all models of Airbus commercial jetliners.

Companies such as AAT Composites in Somerset-West, near Cape Town, which is one of the world’s major fabricators of composite-material parts for aircraft seats and baggage stowage bins, also stand to benefit as Airbus steps up its delivery tempo to meet increased demand from airlines.

At the end of last month, Airbus had a future order book for 5,099 A320 Family jetliners and 313 A330s. It also has orders for 779 A350s and 164 A380 super jumbos.