April 11, 2018 / 1:00 PM / 6 months ago

Airbus sees backloaded deliveries in 2018, reaffirms target

(Reuters) - Airbus (AIR.PA) Chief Executive Tom Enders said on Wednesday the planemaker expects deliveries of narrowbody jets once again to be backloaded towards the latter part of the year - possibly even more so than before - due to ongoing engine issues.

Airbus Chief Executive Tom Enders waits to visit final assembly line at Airbus headquarters in Blagnac, near Toulouse, France March 21, 2018. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

Deliveries have been delayed by delivery and quality problems on engines provided by Pratt & Whitney, and most recently engines from French-U.S. venture CFM (SAF.PA) (GE.N). Pratt-powered A320neo deliveries have been suspended.

Both engine suppliers for Airbus narrowbody jets remain “stressed,” but Airbus - whose main rival is Boeing (BA.N) - is sticking by a target of delivering some 800 aircraft this year, Enders said.

“We are quite optimistic they can meet (goals) but it is not going to be a walk in the park,” he said at the company’s annual shareholder meeting, monitored by webcast.

Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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