Airbus ready to handle global pressure on its supply chain

While speaking to the media at their 2nd largest factory in Germany yesterday, Airbus said that it has not been noticing a surge in the number of its suppliers with financial problems, and that it has measures in place to stabilise global pressure on its supply chains. Airbus Aerostructures Chief Executive Andre Walter said that the plane maker is making increased checks about the financial health of small suppliers, and is ‘closely following’ its supply chain.

Airbus concluded the year 2022 with A320-family production of 45 aircraft a month and reiterated plans to introduce the new A321XLR to service in the second quarter of 2024. Airbus has sold 560 of its longest-range single-aisle model. Shares in Airbus were about 2% higher in late trading.

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The Airbus factory in Hamburg, Germany assembles most of the rear half of the fuselage of the best-selling Airbus A320/321 family. It is also one of four final assembly sites for the whole airplane, alongside Toulouse in France and sites in China and the United States, while also playing a lead role in development of the A321XLR.

At the Airbus factory in Hamburg, Germany

Walter said Airbus was separating some industrial activities for the XLR from the rest of the single-aisle production system to handle the airplane’s greater complexity, including installation of a novel form of fuel tank. That includes a dedicated equipment-installation facility which will use increased automation to add the wires, plumbing and arteries that turn the cylindrical rear fuselage into a serviceable airplane structure ready for final assembly.

When asked about any delays in its internal supply chain, including Germany-based Airbus Aerostructures, Walter said it was running smoothly but sometimes having to dip into buffer stocks.

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