Wichita Business Journal: Airbus cutting production

April 08, 2020 - 2:00 pm

The Wichita Business Journal reports Airbus will cut commercial aircraft production rates commercial by around a third as it moves to mitigate the industry damage caused by COVID-19. 

The European jet maker said in a press release that output rates going forward would be as follows: 

• The A320 at 40 aircraft per month. 

• The A350 at six aircraft per month. 

• The A330 at two per month. 

Those cuts will impact Wichita-based Spirit AeroSystems Inc., which is concurrently waiting for likely similar cuts from Airbus rival Boeing Co. 

Spirit builds wing components for the A320 and other Airbus models at its plant in Prestwick, Scotland. 

Airbus had intended to boost output on the narrow-body A320 to 63 aircraft per month in 2021 prior to the impact of COVID-19. 

In addition, Spirit builds the center fuselage section on the A350 at its plant in Kinston, North Carolina.

“The impact of this pandemic is unprecedented,” said Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury. “At Airbus, protecting our people and supporting the fight against the virus are our chief priorities at this time. Our airline customers are heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. We are actively adapting our production to their new situation and working on operational and financial mitigation measures to face reality.” 

In addition to the new rate plans, the company said a total of 60 planes were built but undelivered during the first quarter because of the pandemic. 

Deliveries in March fell to 36 from 55 the previous month.

Spirit has been following Airbus’ lead and local government restrictions on which of its global supply locations have been open and when to meet its customer needs. 

Wichita is also home to Airbus Americas Engineering, which is Airbus’ largest engineering office outside of Europe.

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