January 19, 2018 / 7:04 AM / a year ago

Airbus says supplier bottlenecks easing as deliveries rise

NANTES, France, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Key aerospace suppliers are getting on top of problems blamed for delays in deliveries of passenger jets, allowing Airbus to resume increases in planned production for its newest models, a senior Airbus executive said.

Seats and cabins supplier Zodiac Aerospace is running smoothly after an industrial crisis that delayed Airbus A350 deliveries, Airbus Programmes Head Didier Evrard told reporters.

"In 2017 we had very few problems: Zodiac considerably improved its operational performance, as did other suppliers. This main reason for the blockage was resolved," he said.

Zodiac is in the midst of being taken over by France's Safran after repeated delays and profit warnings.

The company broadly addressed problems of quantity in the first half of 2017 and quality during the second half, he told the AJPAE aerospace media association.

Evrard said a backlog of about 30 undelivered A320neo-family jets, which have been parked in Toulouse and Hamburg waiting for engines, should be cleared by mid-year. (Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Mathieu Rosemain)

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