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Airbus sales chief cautious on jet output increases

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[September 22, 2014]  ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Airbus adopted a cautious stance on aircraft output on Monday, telling the airline and leasing industry that it would examine supply chain and other conditions before deciding further increases in output of its popular A320 narrowbody series.

The comments by sales chief John Leahy at an industry event came after both Airbus and its rival Boeing said recently that they were studying further increases in already record plans.

Boeing has indicated it might lift production of its 737 series to 52 planes a month in 2018, having already set plans to produce 47 a month by 2017, rising from 42 a month now.

Airbus is looking at whether it can manage 50 a month.

"We are not going to chase marginal production...and we will not take marginal deals just to keep up volume," Leahy told reporters at the Istat Europe conference in Istanbul.

However he stressed that this did not mean that Airbus detected a downturn in recently robust demand for aircraft.

On a larger model, he said Airbus would look at increasing the planned rate of 10 A350 jets a month to accommodate demand, but the discussion would only begin once the aircraft had been certified and established in service, probably next year.

(Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Brian Love)

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