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FARNBOROUGH (dpa-AFX) – Airbus (Airbus SE (ex EADS)) and Boeing would like to re-expand production of their medium-haul jets after the Corona crisis, but engine manufacturers cannot keep up. “Not all engine builders started increasing production early enough, even though we told them to,” Airbus chief Guillaume Faury told the Financial Times (Wednesday) at Farnborough Airshow southwest of London. Airlines were clearly reluctant to order new planes at the fair. For the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, things are particularly modest.
Since the beginning of the show on Monday, the European manufacturer has received an order from the American airline Delta for twelve small A220 passenger jets. On Wednesday, the British low-cost airline easyJet also confirmed an order for 56 medium-haul A320neo family aircraft, which it announced in June.
The US aircraft manufacturer Boeing received an order from Delta Air Lines for 100 long-range 737 Max 10 medium-haul aircraft on Monday. Since then, Boeing has collected a few more orders, mostly from aircraft financiers. And the Vietnamese company Vietjet has won a large order for 200 Boeing 737 Maxs, which both sides have already negotiated and announced ahead of the pandemic.
Azerbaijan Airlines signed a preliminary contract on Wednesday for four wide-body 787 Dreamliners. The model is in high demand among airlines, but Boeing has been banned from supplying new machines for more than a year due to quality defects in production. For a manufacturer, such problems add up to the difficulties faced by the competition and companies from other industries.
Farnborough Airshow is held annually alternating with Paris Arosalon at Le Bourget Airport. In the past two years, events have been canceled due to a pandemic.
In 2015-2019, manufacturers announced an average of around 800 orders at the largest industry fairs in the summer, calculates aviation analyst Ken Herbert of the Canadian RBC bank. Usually, most orders are announced in the first two days of the fair. On Thursdays around noon, producers set the limit of their sales success. Farnborough Airshow officially ends on Friday (22 July).
Meanwhile, Airbus chief Faury estimates that supply chain bottlenecks will last for about a year. “It’s bad everywhere,” said the head of the Financial Times. Global supply chains are struggling to function normally. “And it’s not just an aviation problem.” There are also industry-wide labor shortages, higher inflation and rising energy costs.
Airbus currently has 26 so-called gliders. It is a humorous name for an almost finished new aircraft that lacks only under-wing propulsion. After reducing production from around 60 to 40 at the start of the corona pandemic, the manufacturer now produces around 50 A320neo family mid-range jets per month.
Faury wants to increase emissions to 65 machines per month by the summer of next year – that would be a record in itself. By 2025, production is expected to increase to 75 units per month – this is how the group’s order books are full. But engine designers lagged behind the rapid development of production.
Customers of the A320neo twin jets can choose between the CFM Leap engine and the Pratt & Whitney (P&W) turbofan geared engine. CFM belongs to the French manufacturer SAFRAN and the American group General Electric. The Munich-based MTU (MTU Aero Engines) engine builder is also working on the propulsion of P&W, a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies (Raytheon Technologies). Both CFM and P&W have reassured after the recent backlog that they are back on track, Faury said.
However, Airbus’s target of 75 planes a month in 2025 is in danger of swaying. Pratt & Whitney will not be able to deliver the required number of drives by 2026, said responsible Pratt & Whitney department manager Rick Deurloo in Farnborough.
Airbus’s US rival Boeing only has to contend with the CFM and Leap engine for the 737 Max mid-haul jet. The US-French company only supplies all engines for aircraft that, after two fatal accidents, were unable to take off worldwide for 20 months in 2019 and 2020. Boeing is now re-building 31 machines a month, but this is still well below the pre-ban level.
The head of the commercial airliners division, Stan Deal, also justified the fact that Boeing was not increasing production on Sunday due to a lack of engines. The group adjusts its production to the number of available drives. / Stw / ngu // he
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