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Airbus reveal A380 production to drop to just 8 a year from 2019

Airbus has said lower aircraft deliveries due impart to issues with engine supplier Pratt and Whitney has contributed to a second-quarter drop in profits.

The planemaker has also revealed production on the flagship A380 ‘superjumbo’ will drop to just eight a year from 2019 due to slow demand.

The company previously said it was to cut the number of A380 deliveries to 12 in 2018, down from 27 in 2015.

The cut in the production rate will be seen by many in the industry as a sign that the programme may eventually be wound up say the FT  [icon name=”external-link” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] 

In a trading update today, Airbus reported adjusted earnings before interest and tax for the first half of 2017 at €1.1bn, down 34% from the same period last year.

The company says good progress is being made on the A350 ramp-up with 30 deliveries compared to 12 in the first half of 2016 with the A350 programme is on track to meet the monthly target of 10 aircraft by the end of 2018.

The A320neo ramp-up “remains challenging and customers are still experiencing a number of in-service engine issues” Airbus said.

Up to 200 are targeted for delivery in 2017 but given the engine issues that will be tough for Airbus to achieve, so far 59 have been delivered compared to eight in the first half of 2016.

Engine supplier Pratt & Whitney has introduced some fixes but “improvements have not come through yet on a reliable basis”

“The commercial aircraft environment remains healthy while the robust order backlog continues to support our production ramp-up plans.

However, we are facing challenges due to ongoing engine issues but we have a clear road-map in place and have maintained our full-year guidance.

Achieving the aircraft delivery target depends on the engine suppliers meeting their commitments,” said Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders.

“Our focus in the second half remains squarely on programme execution and delivering the ramp-up.

Over the longer term, Airbus will benefit from its strong focus on innovation and more efficient and integrated structure.” said Enders.

Order have totalled € 37.2 billion versus € 39.1 billion for the same period in 2016, the current order book is valued at € 981 billion as of 30 June 2017.

A total of 203 commercial aircraft orders were received have been received this year up on 183 aircraft ordered at same point last year.