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Airbus executive says output goal based on jet deals

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FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A logo of Airbus is seen at the entrance of its factory in Blagnac near Toulouse
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By Carlos Vargas

BOGOTA (Reuters) - A senior Airbus official on Monday defended the European planemaker's output goals after it clashed with leasing companies worried about overproduction of jetliners.

Airbus hopes to almost double production of its best-selling A320 family as air travel gathers pace following the coronavirus crisis. Critics have accused it of ignoring the impact on jet prices and service revenues.

"The key to all this is that we have these firm contracts with our clients - we cannot say that we are not going to respect those contracts because we think they are too many for the business," said Airbus Latin America president Arturo Barreira, on the sidelines of the ALTA airline conference in Bogota.

"We have those commitments with our clients, so the demand is there and we are seeing that the interests of many airlines to improve the fleet are being reactivated," he told Reuters.

Industry sources said earlier on Monday Airbus had rebuffed calls for output restraint from leasing companies, which fear the effect of too much production on the value of existing assets.

The dispute deepens an industry split over post-COVID demand after Airbus also received flak from engine makers and other suppliers over the pace of its planned output increases.

(Reporting by Carlos Vargas; Writing by Tim Hepher; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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