Airbus unfolds new growth plan

By Kelvin Osa Okunbor

French airplane maker  Airbus will continue to expect the commercial aircraft market to recover to pre-COVID levels between 2023 and 2025, led by the single-aisle segment.

The company said it was providing suppliers with an update of its production plans, giving visibility to schedule necessary investments and secure long term capacity and production rate readiness, in line with the expected recovery.

Chief Executive Officer, Airbus, Guillaume Faury, said the  sector has begun to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

“The message to our supplier community provides visibility to the entire industrial ecosystem to secure the necessary capabilities and be ready when market conditions call for it. In parallel, we are transforming our industrial system by optimising our aero structures set-up and modernising our A320 Family production facilities. All these actions are set in motion to prepare our future,” Faury said.

Airbus confirms an average A320 Family production rate of 45 aircraft per month in fourth 2021 and calls on suppliers to prepare for the future by securing a firm rate of 64 by Q2 2023.

In anticipation of a continued recovering market, Airbus is also asking suppliers to enable a scenario of rate 70 by Q1 2024. Longer term, Airbus is investigating opportunities for rates as high as 75 by 2025.

Around rate five aircraft per month from Mirabel and Mobile, the rate is confirmed to rise to about six in early 2022. Airbus is also envisaging a monthly production rate of 14 by the middle of the decade.

At an average production rate of five monthly, this is expected to  increase to six by autumn 2022.

Production remains at an average monthly production rate of two per month.

On its part, Brazillian airplane maker Embraer  is presenting a semi-private configuration for ERJ 145 jets as an aftermarket solution, which includes premium seats for the utmost comfort to passengers.

The conversion will be possible through a supplemental type certificate (STC), currently under development by Embraer, and all ERJ 145 are eligible to be converted to a semi-private aircraft.

“Embraer constantly assesses customer needs to offer innovative solutions and support new market requirements, which is why we developed the new semi-private conversion,” said Marsha Woelber, Head of Worldwide Executive Jets Customer Support & Aftermarket Sales, Embraer Service & Support. “We have identified this opportunity given the growing number of aircraft with semi-private interiors, which have doubled in two years, from 21 in 2019 to more than 40 in 2021. With the pandemic, we believe this number will increase even more.”

The 50-seater ERJ 145 aircraft can now be configured from 16 to 28 premium seats with one seat configuration on each side of the aisle, increasing social distancing and comfort. Other features are a flat floor and the removal of the overhead bins, which widen passengers’ personal space. The full conversion process can be performed at Embraer Owned Service Centers.

Embraer is targeting passengers who usually travel first class and may require more suitable flight options.

The ERJ 145 semi-private jet allows these customers to avoid main crowded airports and save time, providing a premium experience to the passengers who will board from and disembark at a private terminal.

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