The chart tells the story. Airbus clearly pulled out all the stops to fix its supply chain troubles on the A350 this past year. December was a blowout performance.
Late last year, Airbus offered a seemingly impossible goal – delivering 50 A350s in 2016. In the end, the company managed to deliver 47. As the chart alludes, this was no easy task. Airbus has run into supply chain challenges. The talk of a “flurry of activity” is how it worked out. The A350 team must have burned a lot of midnight oil, and we know the August vacation was cancelled. The team came through and achieved 94% of the goal – which warrants an A for effort.
The decision to push back the A350-1000 deliveries into the second half of 2017 indicates ongoing focus on moving the A350-900 deliveries at a rapid clip. The 2015 goal was to deliver 60 A350s in 2016. This was putting the rate at five month. It may be too soon, but it seems that the team might be able to reach that rate this year.
While this site is not an official source, it does provide a useful source to get a sense of the activity at Airbus’ A350 program. The number of aircraft in rework has dropped significantly. This alludes to the maturing of the process for the assembly teams. But it also speaks to the stabilizing of the supply chain. If the delivery dates are close to reality and what we can expect, Airbus may even deliver more than 60 in 2017.
Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.
If you also take the Aircap delivery into account they delivered 48 A350-900 in 2016, still 2 short of the goal, but pretty close to it.
Pity the poor saps on the production lines who probably worked themselves sick in order to meet the arbitrary milestone in 50 in the year. Now they face a new year in which they’ll presumably not have a commensurate kicking-back time, but will be expected to maintain a high intensity workload to meet a high production rate. And presumably that all-out effort in 2016 will have led to compromises in the creation of practices that allow sustained quality production without the breaking of backs.
I fail to see the arbitrary in a customer’s order…
for sure the guys worked hard to get there, no question about that.
and it will come as no news that they will work hard again in 2017.