(Bloomberg) -- Airbus SE needs to accelerate jetliner deliveries in December if it’s to reach a goal of shipping 600 planes this year, according to people with knowledge of the situation.
The European manufacturer’s 2021 delivery tally reached 500 aircraft as of Friday, according to the people, who asked not to be named before official numbers are published. That leaves Airbus about 100 short of its target, with five weeks left in the year.
An Airbus spokesman declined to comment.
While a year-end push is a normal part of Airbus’s operations, supply-chain issues at parts makers struggling to lift shipments after Covid lockdowns have held back output this year. There’s also a risk that the spread of the omicron strain of the virus could prompt airlines to review short-term fleet requirements.
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Deliveries at Toulouse, France-based Airbus slipped to 36 in October and stood at 40 in each of the previous two months. The total as of Friday suggests a modest rise from those levels is possible for November.
Airbus handed over 89 planes in December 2020 with the industry reeling from the spread of the pandemic. In previous two years, the tally for the month was comfortably higher, above 125 planes.
Airbus is readying its supply chain for build rates as high as 75 a month for its top-selling A320 single-aisle series by 2025 as it looks to extend its delivery lead over U.S. rival Boeing Co.
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