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.

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Addison Schonland
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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.

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