A top Airbus (AIR.PA) official said Thursday that the company is stabilizing global supply chain strain and checking small suppliers’ financial health.
Andre Walter, CEO of Airbus Aerostructures, told journalists visiting the planemaker’s second-largest facility in Hamburg, Germany, that Airbus was not witnessing a rise in suppliers with financial issues.
“We are continuously tracking our supply chain,” he told AJPAE, the French aerospace media association.
Walter, Airbus’ senior commercial manufacturing executive in Germany, said the planemaker concluded 2022 with 45 A320-family aircraft a month and planned to launch the new A321XLR in the second quarter of 2024. In addition, Airbus sold 560 long-range single-aisle models.
Late-trading Airbus shares rose 2%.
Hamburg is one of four final assembly facilities for the planemaker’s best-selling A320/321 series, along with Toulouse, China, and the US.
It leads A321XLR development.
To tackle the XLR’s complexity, including installing a new fuel tank, Walter said Airbus was segregating some industrial processes from the single-aisle manufacturing system.
A specialized equipment installation facility will employ increasing automation to connect wiring, piping, and arteries to the cylindrical rear fuselage to prepare it for final assembly.
Walter said Airbus’s internal supply chain, including Germany-based Airbus Aerostructures, worked smoothly but sometimes needed buffer supplies. In addition, certain A320 fuselage panels, cabin, and electrical elements have raised industry concerns.