October 4, 2017 / 8:30 AM / 2 years ago

Airbus says it has capacity to raise A350 production above targeted levels

A logo of Airbus is pictured on their booth during the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland, May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

PARIS (Reuters) - Airbus (AIR.PA) said on Wednesday it had the capacity to push the production of its A350 planes above its targeted level of 10 aircraft a month, as its main rival Boeing (BA.N) also prepares to step up some of its own production output.

“We are sticking by our target to increase A350 production to 10 per month by the end of 2018 and we have the industrial capacity to go higher,” said an Airbus spokesman.

He was speaking after aerospace publication Leeham News said Airbus was preparing to push up the output of its new wide-body jet to 13 a month, perhaps by as early as 2019.

The spokesman for Airbus declined to comment on when, or by how much, Airbus could increase the production.

Airbus has said that it has delivered 50 A350 aircraft so far this year.

The European company’s planemaking chief Fabrice Bregier was quoted last month as saying it was on track to increase deliveries by 50 percent in 2017, with 49 deliveries made in 2016.

Also in September, Boeing said it would raise production of competing 787 Dreamliner jets to 14 a month in 2019, from the current 12 a month, pressing ahead with plans that had been placed on hold amid concerns over demand for wide-body jets.

Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Jason Neely/Keith Weir

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