Airbus hopes to deliver up to 80 A350 aircraft in 2017: sources
By Tim Hepher
PARIS (Reuters) - Airbus (AIR.PA: Quote) tentatively aims to deliver as many as 80 A350 jetliners in 2017, two people familiar with the plans said on Friday.
The target marks a new stage in ambitious plans to raise output of the company's newest long-haul jet to 10 a month in 2018, but depends mainly on how successful suppliers will be in curbing delays in cabin equipment.
An Airbus spokesman declined to comment on the provisional thinking on deliveries for 2017, which would equate to production of just under 7 aircraft a month.
Airbus is expected to give details of its 2017 delivery plans in February.
Speaking at an event to mark the first flight of the large A350-1000 variant on Thursday, Airbus planemaking chief Fabrice Bregier said he was more optimistic than before about reaching a target of at least 50 A350 deliveries in 2016.
Airbus delivered the 35th airplane of the year on Thursday.
At the same time, Airbus aims to swiftly increase deliveries of the smaller A320neo, which have been held back by delays in the supply of engines from U.S.-based Pratt & Whitney (UTX.N: Quote).
Programs chief Didier Evrard told Reuters on Thursday the supply chain had improved but remained under scrutiny. Continued...