Airbus Must Deliver 16 A350s in One Month to Reach 2016 Target

  • Company aims to ship 50 wide-body airplanes this year
  • Production held back by logjam at interiors suppliers

Airbus Group SE must deliver 16 A350 wide-body planes in December, or four times the monthly average so far this quarter, if the European planemaker is to meet its goal of 50 handovers for 2016 after bottlenecks at key suppliers disrupted production.

Airbus dispatched four A350s in November, the same as in October, with Qatar Airways Ltd., Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Chile’s Latam Airlines Group SA and China Airlines Ltd. of Taiwan getting one plane apiece, according to a statement Tuesday. That lifted the 11-month tally to 34, sent to nine operators.

While reaching the full-year target will be a challenge, the manufacturer has ranks of fully assembled A350s already waiting to be fitted out at its base in Toulouse, France. At least one more plane was handed over in the first few days of this month, also going to Hong Kong-based Cathay, a spokesman said.

Airbus shipped 61 planes in November, 13 of them wide-bodies. Production of the A350 has been held up by a shortage of seats and lavatory cubicles from suppliers including Zodiac Aerospace SA. The delay prompted a 385 million-euro ($414 million) second-quarter charge to cover customer compensation.

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