Airbus to expand A320 production as sales rise

A320 tailfin Image copyright Reuters

European aircraft maker Airbus is planning to ramp up production of its A320 following a profitable third quarter earnings.

Airbus increased revenue by 6% in the third quarter to €14bn (£10bn; $15.4bn) compared with €13.3bn the year before.

The company benefited from the strong dollar and growing sales across all its products.

Airbus plans to increase production of its A320 to 60 a month in 2019, from 42 now, capitalising on growing sales.

Shares in Airbus rose 4.6% in early trading following the news.

Operational challenges

The company's order intake increased 42% in the first nine months of 2015 compared with a year earlier. Airbus did €100bn in sales of commercial aircraft and €4bn of helicopters sales.

The firm also announced a €1bn share buy back to be completed by mid-2016.

Airbus said the increased production of A320s would help off set some of the issues it has had delivering other aircraft.

In a statement, chief executive Tom Enders said "We are strongly focused on programme execution given our key operational challenges with the A350 and A400M ram-ups."

Airbus has struggled to keep up with demand for its A350. Both the A350, and the A400M military aircraft, have carbon fibre structures that improve fuel efficiency.