Airbus Group NV is living up to its earlier statement that global economic uncertainty will not lower demand for fuel-efficient jetliners. On Friday, the world's second largest aircraft manufacturer announced that its net income increased 59% from €1.4bn in 2013 to €2.3bn last year. Shares of the company on the Paris stock market rose more than 7% in reaction to the positive news.

The European plane manufacturer is looking to increase capacity for its most popular passenger plane, the single-aisle A320, from 42 a month currently to 50 a month by 2017.

Airbus is also looking to cut production of the wide-body A330 aircraft from 10 a month to as few as just six. It has seen a fall in orders since Airbus announced a new version of the plane that will first be rolled out in 2017.

America-based giant Boeing has increased output well-beyond European archrival Airbus. Airbus Chief Executive Tom Enders attributed this to the fact that Boeing has its state-of-the-art 787 Dreamliner "up and running and they are producing it at 100-plus a year and the Airbus A350 is two years behind". Both planes are designed for the same long-range market that is looking for fuel-efficient planes for transcontinental travel.

Speaking against rumours suggesting that Airbus might cut production of the A380, which is the largest passenger plane in the world, Enders said: "I have a pretty positive outlook and perspective for our big bird." Reports that Airbus might halt production of the superjumbo plane in 2018 saw Airbus shares fall more than 10% in a single day in December.

Airbus has had trouble in recent months with its military program, with significant delays to the A400M military transport plane prompting claims from several governments including Turkey, France and Germany. Last month, it changed the head of its military program. The A400M received orders from several European countries but ran into cost overruns and production problems. Enders has said that the plane is making good progress and Airbus is making information regarding status and delivery more visible to customers.