Airbus Expects to Deliver 700 Aircraft in 2017

An Airbus logo is pictured on the company booth during the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) at Cointrin airport in Geneva, Switzerland, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

TOULOUSE (Reuters) – Planemaker Airbus is expecting to deliver more than 700 aircraft in 2017, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

Airbus delivered a record 688 planes in 2016 after a last-minute rush to produce planes in December and said it expects a smoother production rate in 2017.

“We will continue to ramp up. As of today, we will be above 700 deliveries,” Fabrice Bregier said when asked about expected deliveries for 2017, adding a more precise figure would be given when parent Airbus Group reports results on February 22.

Responding to concerns of slowing orders, sales chief John Leahy said any order deferrals were manageable because the planemaker had a large backlog.

“Right now we are overbooked and if I don’t get some deferrals someone will be unhappy,” he said.

(Reporting by Tim Hepher; Writing by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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