Airbus adjusts production

Update, Feb. 20: Flight Global has this report with a dire prediction from the IATA General Director that Airbus and Boeing won’t be able to deliver half of the aircraft scheduled this year because of the credit crunch.

And we’re told that many in the Airbus supply chain have already made plans for lower production rates than announced yesterday by Airbus.

Original Post:

Market Watch had this report today:

Airbus said it’s reducing the production rate on its A320 single-aisle family of aircraft to 34 a month from 36. Additionally, it now plans to hold work on the wide-body A330/A340s at 8.5 a month, instead of increasing it further as previously planned.

We think this is just the tip of the iceberg. See our report from February 13. For now Airbus reaffirms its delivery target for 2009, with the production adjustments scheduled to take place from October. But Airbus’ CEO said in a statement that “I do not exclude further production cuts if the need arises.”

Dow Jones filed this report about France’s Safran, the parent of Snecma, which is the joint venture partner of CFM international, supplier of engines to the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320:

PARIS (Dow Jones)–French aerospace equipment supplier Safran SA (7327.FR) said Wednesday it had booked 250 cancellations and postponements of orders for single-aisle short-to-medium range commercial aircraft that would have been powered by CFM56 jet engines.

Safran makes the engines in a joint venture with General Electric Co. (GE) of the U.S.

Safran chief executive Jean-Paul Herteman told a press conference that cancellations and postponements have stepped up in recent weeks, noting that financially solid airlines such as Lufthansa AG (LHA.XE) and Southwest Airlines (LUV) are among the airlines that are holding back on deliveries.

“It’s not unlikely that we will see additional cancellations and postponements in the coming months,” he said.

Herteman noted that the 250 aircraft identified a few weeks ago represent 8% of its order book for CFM engines, but noted that its CFM56 order book of 6,600 engines still represents more than five years of production.

Herteman said Safran has identified more than 400 parked and grounded aircraft fitted with CFM engines.

Engine maintenance constitutes a large part of the company’s revenue.

Marc Ventre, head of Safran’s engines division, said deliveries of engines this year are expected to total between 1,250 and 1,260, in line with the 1,268 delivered in 2008.

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