Airbus today announced their final 2014 orders and delivery results. Beside a new delivery record there is one noticable item that begs two questions: the increasing backlog of the A320ceo shouts and screams for a (very) near term announcement of a rate increase, which was probably decided some months ago. Also, it puts into question if the CFM LEAP-1A, the second engine for the A320neo, will be available on time. The PW1100G seems to be "out of the woods", getting certification late last year and Airbus CEO Bregier during the Investors Days in December said that he expects the first delivery of the A320neo in November 2015.
The backlog for the A320ceo stands now at 1508. This is 38 more than at the end of November, which I analyzed here. Subtracting all 102 "suspicious" orders gets us to 1406 open orders. The still not booked order from CASGC would lead us then to 1476 open orders for about 1164 delivery positions until 2018. So Airbus overbooked the A320ceo lines by 250 aircraft at current production rates.
Now, as I said above, I think a rate increase is coming for sure. For one to clear the A320ceo backlog as soon as possible, but also to be able to offer earlier production slots in upcoming campaigns.
As for the overbooking of the A320ceo, there could also be another reason: the LEAP-1A has still not flown on the GE Flying Testbed. At the time the LEAP-1C began the test campaign on the other GE testbed in early October CFM said that the -1A would follow within a month. Now we are two months later...maybe something was found during the -1C test campaign that needed a change for both variants?