Airbus’ 2013 record commercial results and industrial performance confirm benefits of the company’s steps to further increase agility, enhance reactivity and improve the decision-making process – maintaining its market leadership position for both single-aisle and widebody jetliners sized at above 100 seats.
Speaking to journalists today at the company’s traditional year-opening press conference, President and CEO Fabrice Brégier said Airbus is well positioned for the future, with 2014 milestones to include service entry of its next-generation A350 XWB extra wide-body jetliner, the maiden flight for the A320 single-aisle family’s NEO (new engine option) version, along with progress on certification for the A330’s increased takeoff weight and regional versions.
In 2013, Airbus saw the results of its continuous improvement efforts, along with the steps that were taken to improve efficiency and the organizational changes that give more empowerment to local teams - especially in the plants, Brégier told reporters in Toulouse, France.
“This is important as we continue with our current programmes while preparing for the production ramp-up with the A350 XWB and A320neo,” he added. “In 2014, there will be further improvements in our global competitiveness, efficiency and effectiveness. The focus also will be on incremental innovation that is simpler, less risky, less costly and comes faster to market.”
The company record of 626 aircraft delivered in 2013 underscored Airbus’ ability to maintain production rates at sustained high levels, responding to its industry-wide record backlog of 5,559 aircraft as of December 31. Deliveries last year reflected the stepped-up A320 Family production at 42 per month, along with an A330 output at its highest rate ever of 10 monthly. The A380 is moving toward a break-even rate of 30 aircraft annually based on improved production processes that are now in place.
With the best-selling A320 Family logging orders for 876 NEO versions and 377 for the CEO (current engine option) configuration during 2013, Brégier said the single-aisle jetliner’s output will continue at least at the current 42-monthly rate – the highest ever for a commercial aircraft – as Airbus transitions from the CEO to NEO in early 2018, and he kept open the potential for additional boosts in output to meet market demand.
Brégier said Airbus continues to target the ramp-up of A350 XWB production to the rate of 10 aircraft per month by 2018 – four years after the start of deliveries.
Building on Airbus’ new industry record of 1,619 gross orders logged in 2013, Brégier concluded the press briefing by confirming the company is “well on track with a clear roadmap for a successful 2014.”
For additional information on Airbus’ 2013 results: See the 2014 annual press conf release
Review the presentations of Airbus managers at the year-opening press conference