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World’s biggest plane maker tempers guidance on plans to dramatically increase production of A320s

Airbus SE tempered expectations for sharply boosting production of its bestselling jet, blaming supply-line challenges that threaten its ambition to rapidly widen a market-share advantage it opened with Boeing Co. BA -2.44% during the pandemic.

The plane maker reported record profit Thursday and said it would reinstate its dividend, benefiting from still-robust demand for its commercial airliners. But it dialed back the likelihood of dramatically boosting future production rates for its A320, the single-aisle rival to Boeing’s 737 MAX.

The 737 MAX suffered a long grounding after two deadly crashes, forcing a short-term halt to production. Then, amid the pandemic, Airbus pressed airline customers to honor contracts, further boosting its share of the single-aisle market.

The European plane maker has been bullish on the aviation sector’s eventual recovery, after pandemic travel restrictions hobbled many airlines. It told suppliers last year to be ready for a quick production ramp-up, promising to push out 65 A320s a month by the summer of 2023. It also said it had asked suppliers to explore whether it could raise that to 75 a month by 2025.

Excerpt from WSJ
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