Airbus looks to productivity boost to cut CSeries costs

(Reuters) – Airbus will need to increase sales of Bombardier’s CSeries jets to cut production costs, the European planemaker’s procurement chief said on Tuesday.

Last year, Airbus agreed to take a majority stake in Bombardier’s CSeries jetliner program, which had not secured a new order for the 110-130 seat plane in the 18 months before the deal.

Their partnership is awaiting regulatory approval and both Bombardier and Airbus have expressed optimism over the CSeries’ long-term sales prospects.

“First we’re going to have to sell the aircraft, in order to then work with suppliers on costs of the program, because at the moment there is a gap,” Klauss Richter told reporters at Airbus’ Toulouse headquarters.

“An increase in productivity rate will help,” he said.

In November, EgyptAir signed an initial order for 12 CSeries jets and Bombardier also received an order for 31 planes from an undisclosed European buyer, marking an end to its sales drought.