Airbus sticking to delivery targets despite engine delays
Airbus said Monday it is sticking to its target of 800 aircraft deliveries this year, despite problems with getting timely delivery of new fuel-efficient engines for its A320neo jets.
"We're sticking to our target of delivering 800 jets this year," a spokesman for the European plane maker told AFP.
According to a report by Bloomberg on Monday, setbacks with the supply of engines by Pratt & Whitney, which are being fitted into nearly half of the medium-haul A320neo jets, could jeopardise Airbus's overall annual delivery target.
The report sent Airbus shares into a tailspin on the Paris stock exchange on Monday, where they fell nearly three percent at the opening.
At around 1100 GMT, they were showing a loss of around 2.1 percent at 98.09 euros, while the overall market was down by 1.1 percent.
Problems with the engines of both the Pratt & Whitney and those jointly developed by Safran and General Electric have led to delays in the delivery of A320neo jets to clients.
Airbus had said in April that its ability to meet its delivery targets this year would depend on the engine makers meeting their deadlines.
But engine delivery has been consistently late for two years.
Nonetheless, in 2017, Airbus delivered a record 718 planes, exceeding the target of 700.
The jet maker had also exceeded its objective in 2016, with 688 planes delivered to clients.
Airbus is now aiming even higher, as it seeks to increase the production rate of its A320neo in order to meet demand.
"I say from a commercial point of view, from a demand point of view, we absolutely see a strong basis to support a rate even going higher," CEO Tom Enders said in April.
He also said Airbus expected to deliver 800 aircraft this year, even as he conceded: "It is not going to be a walk in the park".
The plane maker currently aims to produce 63 A320neo jets a month from now through to the second half of 2019.
© 2018 AFP