As widely expected, Airbus has announced the first production cuts in response to the deepening recession which has sent the global aviation market into a tailspin. A growing number of airlines are seeking to defer or cancel aircraft deliveries, as they are forced to cut capacity to try to match falling demand for air travel and air cargo. Airbus and its rival Boeing are finding their record order backlogs no longer offer protection against the impact of the global recession, which is forcing them to cut output. Tom Enders, Airbus chief executive, said the group had reached record production rates late last year, “but now we see a drop of air traffic in most regions. Many airlines are taking capacity out of the market. I do not exclude further production cuts if the need arises”. Airbus said production rates of its A330/A340 family of long-haul jets – which includes its new freighter variant, the A330-200F – would be held at the current level of 8.5 aircraft a month and not increased as previously planned to between 10 and 11. The airframe manufacturer said it was cutting output of its A320 family of short-haul jets – which account for the bulk of its production – by 6 per cent from 36 to 34 aircraft per month from October.