Supplier crunch puts strain on Airbus A350 output target

Airbus said it will struggle to meet a goal of handing over 50 wide-body A350 jets this year and plans to review the target by late summer once it is clear whether suppliers of the model’s interior fittings have overcome delays.

The European plane maker is still hoping to meet the delivery goal but is finding the going tough as it grapples with the delays and the receipt of sub-par equipment from some contractors, according to Fabrice Bregier, who heads its jetliner unit.

Mr Bregier had said previously that suppliers including Zodiac Aerospace were putting Airbus’ goals at risk with delays to furnishings such as seats and toilets, but stopped short of suggesting the delivery target might be dropped. Production of the A350, Airbus’ newest jet, should reach 10 a month by 2018.

The executive’s comments were reported by the Financial Times and France’s La Tribune and confirmed by Airbus. Mr Bregier provided no estimate of how low 2016 deliveries of the A350 might fall, according to the newspapers.

Airbus shares fell as much as 1.8 per cent on Thursday and were trading 1.3 per cent lower at €51.01 as of 11:09am in Paris, valuing the French company at €39.7 billion (Dh163.66bn).

Mr Bregier also said that Taiwan’s China Airlines was last week told that its first A350 will come in September, not in July as planned.

Zodiac said on Tuesday that the logjam in the production of premium berths for the A350 has begun to ease, with some shipments resuming after it won certification for a new seat.

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