Airbus sales chief says well placed for further output hikes

Mon Mar 9, 2015 2:21pm EDT
 
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PHOENIX (Reuters) - Airbus, which recently announced an output increase for its A320 jet family, has amassed enough excess orders through overboooking to justify further production increases at some point in the future, its sales chief said on Monday.

Airbus last month announced plans to increase output of its best-selling jet family to 50 aircraft a month in 2017, up from 42 a month now.

"It does appear that we have more than enough overbooking to comfortably cover rates above 50, perhaps above 60 (a month)," John Leahy told the Istat air finance conference.

Such a decision would be "way out in the future" and would depend on Airbus Group's (AIR.PA: Quote) board, he added.

Aircraft manufacturers sell more jets than they plan to produce in order to anticipate airline bankruptcies or changes in fleet plans: a process of overbooking that mirrors the way airlines oversell seats to reduce their exposure to "no-shows".

(Reporting by Tim Hepher, editing by David Evans)

 
People are silhouetted past a logo of the Airbus Group during the Airbus annual news conference in Colomiers, near Toulouse January 13, 2015. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau