TOULOUSE, FRANCE — Airbus is reportedly looking to increase production rates of its A350 and A330neo wide-body aircraft. The move is said to be part of the company's strategy to take advantage of the growing demand for long-haul travel.

Insiders familiar with the matter have revealed that Airbus is considering increasing its production rates for both models, although a final decision has yet to be made. An official announcement is expected as soon as this week.

During the pandemic, Airbus was forced to reduce the production of its wide-body planes due to the severe impact of travel restrictions and border closures, and airlines were seeking to cancel or delay their aircraft orders.

As Covid-19 travel protocols are eased, airlines are grappling with a shortage of wide-body jets, which is causing carriers to resurrect previously idle models, such as the Airbus A380, the largest passenger aircraft in the world. In addition, airlines are competing for available rentals from aircraft leasing companies in order to meet the increasing demand.

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said in October last year that the planemaker would increase the monthly production rate of its larger A350 model from five to six at the beginning of this year. Additionally, production of the slightly smaller A330neo was set to increase from two to three planes per month. However, these rates still remain below pre-pandemic levels, which were approximately ten and four planes per month, respectively.

It is currently unclear what new production rates Airbus is aiming for with regard to the A350 and A330neo models. However, the company's recent deal with Air India on Tuesday includes the sale of 40 A350s.