February 15, 2018 / 8:20 AM / 6 days ago

Airbus in talks on further hike in single-aisle production

PARIS, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Airbus said it was in talks with suppliers to increase the production rate of its best-selling single aisle jet further, with its chief executive also calling on engine makers to deliver on their commitments after high-profile delays.

“If we look at the piled up demand and the backlog, we need to progress on rate 70, which is underway right now. We are in advanced discussions with our supply chain on feasibility and from when on it could be done,” CEO Tom Enders told analysts after the group reported 2017 results.

A new issue was discovered with Pratt & Whitney engines for the A320neo this month and Airbus CEO Tom Enders also said engines for the same plane made by CFM - a joint venture of GE and Safran - were currently experiencing delays.

“It is unfortunate, it isn’t pretty, it means additional work, stress and strain,” he said of the Pratt engine issues. “We will focus very much on customers, together with Pratt & Whitney. We can do this.”

He added that he had a “strong commitment” from the leaders of GE and Safran that they would do everything they could to fix the issues as soon as possible. (Reporting by Tim Hepher Writing by Victoria Bryan Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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