By Benjamin Katz 

Airbus SE cut its delivery goal for the year by as many as 30 aircraft as it struggles with production problems, even as it remains poised to overtake Boeing Co. as the world's largest plane maker by the end of 2019.

The Toulouse, France-based plane maker said it expects to deliver 860 commercial aircraft this year, a company record, though that is down from a previous estimate of 880 to 890. It cut its free cash flow guidance to three billion euros ($3.3 billion) for 2019 from as much as EUR4 billion earlier.

Airbus and Boeing have been ramping up production as they seek to meet surging demand for more fuel-efficient, narrow-body jets. Airbus has been struggling to boost output of its A320neo family, specifically a version that offers airlines highly customized cabins.

"We are focused on the A320neo ramp-up and improving the industrial flow, " Airbus Chief Executive Guillaume Faury said in a statement.

Despite the delivery cut, Airbus is still on track to overtake Boeing as the world's largest aircraft manufacturer as the American company seeks to overcome a crisis with its 737 MAX, the main competitor to the Neo. The 737 MAX has been grounded since March after two fatal crashes. That caused a halt to customer deliveries and forced Boeing to pare back production.

Airbus handed over 571 planes to customers in the first nine months of the year, compared with 301 for Boeing.

Airbus said third-quarter net income rose 3% to EUR989 million. Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes--a closely followed metric--came in at EUR1.6 billion. Sales fell 1% to EUR15.3 billion.

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 30, 2019 02:59 ET (06:59 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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