Airbus may at some point launch the A220-500, the higher-capacity variant of the single-aisle jet, but that moment is still a long way off, explained Guillaume Faury, CEO of planemaker on Thursday, during the presentation of the 2021 results.
“The A220-500 would be a very good version of the A220, but we are not there. We’re not in the ‘cruise altitude’,” said the executive referring to the analogy made earlier about the program.
Airbus is now more concerned with achieving the A220 series break-even, a milestone planned for 2025.
Faury stressed that the manufacturer has focused on improving the production of the A220-100 and A220-300 models, whose costs are high. Because of this, discussing an A220-500 now would be “premature”.
The considered version would have been requested by some customers such as Korean Air and Air France, but so far no official information about it has been revealed.
Last week, the provincial government of Quebec (Canada), where the jetliner’s main assembly line is located, announced a $1.2 billion investment in the program, in partnership with Airbus.
In Montreal, the goal is to reach a monthly production rate of 10 aircraft in 2025, while another four A220s should be assembled monthly in Mobile, in the USA.
Currently, the A220 family already has 740 aircraft on order.
720 commercial aircraft to be delivered in 2022
During the presentation, Airbus revealed that it intends to deliver 720 commercial jets in 2022, up 20% from last year’s target.
The Airbus Chief Executive Officer was also asked about raising the production rate of the A320neo family.
According to Faury, the target remains to reach 65 aircraft a month by the end of 2023, but admitted that Airbus plans to increase that amount to 70 or 75 planes from 2024.
“We are considering a ratio above 65 planes, maybe 70 or 75 makes sense, but no decision has been made,” he said, adding that he intends to resolve the matter by mid-2022.