Airbus, the largest commercial aerospace company in the UK which employs around 3,000 people in Bristol, 350 in Oxford (and around 12,500 across the UK as a whole), is readying suppliers for aerospace industry recovery.
Airbus at Filton undertakes the design, engineering and support for Airbus wings, fuel systems and landing gear. Teams also work on aerodynamics research, development and test facilities, while wings for the A400M transporter are assembled on site.
Airbus’ helicopter activity is headquartered at Oxford Airport – Britain’s civil helicopter hub – and employs more than 300 people.
The company has written to its suppliers saying that it expects the commercial aircraft market to recover to pre-COVID levels between 2023 and 2025, led by the single-aisle segment. The company updated suppliers of its production plans, in order that they can prepare for investment and secure long term capacity and production rate readiness, in line with the expected recovery.
Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO, said: “The aviation sector is beginning 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 aerostructures set-up and modernising our A320 Family production facilities. All these actions are set in motion to prepare our future.”
A320 Family: Airbus confirms an average A320 Family production rate of 45 aircraft per month in Q4 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.
A220 Family: Currently at around rate five aircraft per month from Mirabel and Mobile, the rate is confirmed to rise to around six in early 2022. Airbus is also envisaging a monthly production rate of 14 by the middle of the decade.
A350 Family: Currently at an average production rate of five per month, this is expected to increase to six by autumn 2022.
A330 Family: Production remains at an average monthly production rate of two per month.