Airbus is still aiming to reach a decision by the end of this year on a possible further production rate increase for the A320 line.
Speaking during a half-year results briefing, Airbus Group chief Tom Enders said the company had “clearly ticked the box” regarding demand for the type.
“There’s no doubt that higher production rates can be consumed by the market,” he said.
Airbus assembles A320s at a rate of 42 aircraft per month and has already committed to take this to 50 from early 2017. But Enders believes higher rates are inevitable.
“It’s not an ‘if’, it’s a ‘when’,” he said, echoing comments from Airbus head Fabrice Bregier, and adding that he was “pretty confident” that the airframer would reach a decision on another “significant” rise in the rate by the end of this year.
He added that Airbus considered “positive” the concern from key suppliers, such as the engine manufacturers, about the degree to which they could meet a further ramp-up.