Airbus will boost A330 production to seven aircraft per month in 2017 after cutting production of the widebody to just six per month this year.
Airbus had been producing 10 A330s monthly through the 2015 third quarter, but cut back to nine in last year’s December quarter and six starting in January. But as the manufacturer moves toward the transition to the re-engined A330neo, set to enter service in late 2017/early 2018, net orders for the A330 totaled 136 in 2015 and Airbus has decided to hike A330 production by one aircraft per month starting in January 2017.
The A330 rate increase was announced as Airbus Group reported a full-year 2015 net profit of €2.7 billion ($2.95 billion), up 15% over net income of €2.34 billion in 2014. The Airbus commercial aircraft division increased revenue 8% in 2015 versus 2014 to €45.85 billion. Excluding special items, the commercial division’s 2015 EBIT rose 10% year-over-year to €2.78 billion. Including special items, which were mainly associated with the devaluation of the euro compared to the dollar, the commercial division’s EBIT fell 14% to €2.3 billion.
Airbus booked 1,080 net commercial aircraft orders in 2015, down 25.8% from 1,456 net orders in 2014. But 635 commercial aircraft delivered in 2015 (including 14 A350s) set a new company record, exceeding 629 aircraft delivered in 2014, and Airbus projected it will top 2015 deliveries in 2016 by delivering 650 commercial aircraft this year.
Airbus conceded “some schedule setbacks” on the A320neo, deliveries of which it said “will be back-loaded this year.”