Airbus is pinning hopes that increased production of the A320neo will help ease it back into full recovery mode. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Paris: Airbus SE was able to stem the outflow of cash in the third quarter, fueling the planemaker's confidence it can emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic well placed for a swift recovery. The company is on track to meet a target of "at least" breakeven adjusted free cashflow in the fourth quarter, Airbus said in a statement.

The group generated 600 million euros cash in the three months through September, having burned through 4.4 billion euros in the second quarter. The forecast indicates a more optimistic approach to the unprecedented aviation crisis than US rival Boeing Co., which said Wednesday it will cut 7,000 more jobs to adapt to the jet market's "new reality".

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Raise production

Even as European countries prepare for a fresh wave of lockdowns, Airbus is plotting its exit from the crisis through plans to increase production on its most popular narrow-body programme from next year.

Airbus delivered 145 planes in the third quarter, as air traffic remained subdued, compared with just 28 jetliners for Boeing. The company surprised the market with a more ambitious target for output of its most popular programme last week, telling suppliers to be ready to support a monthly rate of 47 A320neo-family planes in the second-half of 2021.

The planemaker, which announced plans to cut 15,000 jobs in July, posted a restructuring charge of 1.2 billion euros. Third-quarter adjusted earnings before interest and taxes fell 49 per cent to 820 million euros.