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Missing engines cause problems for Airbus and Boeing

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FARNBOROUGH – Airbus and Boeing would like to expand production of their medium-haul aircraft again after the Corona crisis, but engine manufacturers cannot keep up. “Not all engine manufacturers started ramping up production soon enough, even though we told them.”

This was declared by the boss of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, Guillaume Faury, to the “Financial Times” (Wednesday) at the Farnborough Air Show, near London. The official estimates that bottlenecks in supply chains will continue for about a year.

“It’s bad everywhere,” says Faury. Global supply chains are having real difficulty operating normally. “And it’s not just an aerospace issue.” This would be compounded by industry-wide labor shortages, rising inflation and rising energy costs.

There are currently 26 so-called gliders at Airbus. It’s the ironic name of a nearly finished new aircraft that is missing only the underwing drives. The manufacturer currently produces around 50 of its A320neo model family medium-range jets per month, after cutting production from around 60 to 40 at the start of the corona pandemic.

Faury wants to increase production to 65 machines per month by next summer – that would be a record in itself. By 2025, production should even increase to 75 units per month as the group’s order books are so full. But engine builders have lagged behind the rapid expansion of production.

A320neo jet customers can choose between CFM’s Leap engine and Pratt & Whitney’s gear-driven turbofan. The two suppliers represent about half of the demand. CFM belongs to the French manufacturer Safran and the American group General Electric. The Munich engine manufacturer MTU is also working on the engine of the P&W subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies. Both CFM and P&W assured after the recent deficit that they were back on track, Faury said.

However, Airbus’ target of 75 planes per month by 2025 threatens to falter. Pratt & Whitney will not be able to supply the necessary number of discs until 2026, Pratt & Whitney division chief Rick Deurloo told Farnborough on Tuesday.

The American competitor Boeing of Airbus only has to reckon with CFM and its Leap engine for its medium-haul 737 Max aircraft. Because the American-French company exclusively provides all training for the type of aircraft, which was not allowed to take off for 20 months around the world in 2019 and 2020 after two fatal accidents. Boeing is again building 31 machines a month, but this is still well below the level before the flight ban.

In Farnborough, the manufacturer has recorded new orders since Monday, including a large order for 100 units from the American airline Delta. Commercial aircraft division chief Stan Deal also said on Sunday that Boeing was not ramping up production further due to engine shortages. The group aligns its production with the number of drives available.

© dpa-AFX, aero.de | Fig. : Saffron (archive) | 20/07/2022 14:20

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Source aero.de

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