Despite the turmoil caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, Airbus continues to produce 14 A220 aircraft a month by 2025.
The European aircraft manufacturer, which assembles five devices per month from the end of March – four at Mirabell and one at Mobile – reiterated its target on Thursday, also announcing its production rate increase early next year.
Airbus Canada spokeswoman Annabelle Duchesne said the additional aircraft would be assembled in Alabama to serve American customers of the former C Series of Bombardier.
“Even if the crisis is not over, we will see the light at the end of the tunnel,” she said in a telephone interview. At Mirabell, the assembly line will begin operations early next year to produce components for the two assembly sites. ”
The production rate of 14 aircraft per month supplies Airbus with 168A220 aircraft per year.
Multinational Thursday gave an overview of its production projections for its various production families. The commercial aviation sector plans to return to pre-epidemic production levels between 2023 and 2025, mainly due to the speed seen in the single-aisle segment.
Since the beginning of the health crisis the European aircraft manufacturer has shown confidence after playing himself safe, which has led to a decline in air transport around the world, as well as weakening the economic conditions of many aircraft carriers. Deliveries.
Despite promoting the news, Airbus has no plans to recall employees at Mirabell, which has 2,500 employees. More than 300 people were on forced leave last year due to the crisis.
After a shortage of more than a year in the context of the epidemic slowing negotiations with potential customers, the Quebec state-owned 25% program finally unveiled an order in late March. The deal includes 20 A220-300 aircraft, the largest aircraft in the family.
According to the latest data available, 12 A220s have been released to consumers since the beginning of the year. In 2020, 38 aircraft were delivered.
Although the sky seems to be clearing, the A220 program is still not profitable. Last February, as part of a conference call to discuss annual results, senior management at Airbus pushed back a year to 2026, the break-even goal.
“This device has always been very competitive,” said Richard Aboulafia, an analyst at the American firm Teal Group. The problem is to reduce the cost of production. By curbing the increase in production rates, it is possible to obtain subsidies from suppliers. It is possible to achieve economic balance in 2026. ”
Several hundred million dollars still need to be injected into the A220 program, Airbus agreed in February.