Company News

CORRECTED-Airbus to meet top suppliers amid jet output concerns- sources

(Amends attribution of spokesman quote, adds correct exec quote)

PARIS, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Airbus is planning a summit meeting with major suppliers in coming days, amid mounting speculation that it may have to delay planned jet output increases as Europe faces a resurgent coronavirus crisis, industry sources said on Friday.

Next week’s briefing by Airbus Chief Executive Guillaume Faury for the heads of several suppliers is expected to set the manufacturing tone for the coming year.

Airbus has said it wants to be in shape to raise benchmark A320-family output by 18% to 47 jets a month by July, but the partial rebound in output towards pre-crisis levels of 60 has already slipped to the fourth quarter, according to analysts, and could slip further.

“It looks like the rate of 47 is slipping to the right,” one supply chain source said.

Airbus referred to recent comments by Chief Operating Officer Michael Schoellhorn, who last month told the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper that the output curve “could also rise a little later or flatter. We are watching the situation closely”.

A spokesman added that Airbus had said since October that the target of 47 a month “is a preparation to increase when certain conditions are met. It is not a decision!” (Reporting by Tim Hepher, editing by Louise Heavens)