Boeing and Airbus strive to deliver the new reactors they promised

For years, the growing demand for new aircraft has made it even more difficult for aircraft manufacturers to deliver planes on time to airline customers. A contraction of the supply line for everything from the engines to the wing components is now magnifying the tension.

The result: some airlines have been waiting months for new planes. That has angered executives and, in some cases, even stranded pbadengers.

Airbus delivers late single-aisle A321neo aircraft to First Air, a Scandinavian airline, due to the lack of engines manufactured by CFM International, a joint venture of General Electric Co.


SAF 0.85%

. The airline has had to suspend plans for some of its routes, including transatlantic flights from New York and Toronto to Birmingham, England.

British Airways

It is waiting for A320neo aircraft for the same reason, without engines.

Willie Walsh,

The executive director of the parent company International Consolidated Airlines Group SA said he is "clearly very disappointed with the performance of Airbus." He has had to rent planes and operate older and less efficient vehicles from his fleet while waiting for the arrival of his new aircraft. [19659007] CFM, which had been delayed in deliveries for up to 7 weeks, has begun to catch up and will return to normal before the end of the year, said Sébastien Imbourg, executive vice president of the engine manufacturer.

Boeing, too, has suffered delays in the engines of its 737 Max aircraft, although it has not yet delayed deliveries of aircraft to customers. Both aircraft manufacturers have also been affected by delays in the components used to make wings and airframes manufactured by

Spirit AeroSystems Holdings

SPR 1.47%

which was delayed due to its own problems in the supply chain.

"Suppliers say:" Houston, we have a problem, we need to reduce speed ", he said.

Eric Bernardini,

Head of the aerospace industry at the consultancy AlixPartners.

Airlines have been waiting for planes before. Boeing arrived late with his new 787 Dreamliner and Airbus with the A380 superjumbos. But this time it is the scale of production, rather than problems with the badembly of new aircraft designs that is affecting the companies.

Boeing, the number one delivery aircraft manufacturer, and the number 2 Airbus and are on track this year to deliver more than 1,600 aircraft in total, more than double the number produced in 2000, and both are expected to add hundreds more to your back orders this week at the Farnborough Air Show, the biennial aviation industry fair. The aircraft manufacturers have been struggling for years under the impulse, and have devoted a major overhaul and reorganization of the supply lines.

The record pace of production is due in part to the growing demand for flights. This year is about to be the ninth in a row of growth in pbadenger demand. The International Air Transport Association, an industry lobby group, predicts that aircraft will carry 4.4 billion pbadengers this year, compared with 2.7 billion in 2010. Amid high oil prices, airlines are also eager to update your fleet to more efficient aircraft that burn less gas.

The suppliers of Boeing and Airbus have had problems keeping up. The delays in the production of the engine have been among the most painful. At one point this year, Airbus had more than 100 almost finished aircraft waiting on the runway for their engines. In the first six months, the company delivered only 303 commercial aircraft against an annual target of 800 deliveries, mainly to overdue engines.

Executive Director of Airbus

Tom Enders

this month he said that meeting the year-round goal was "feasible" but "difficult".

Boeing had delivered 378 aircraft mid-year against a year-round target of between 810 and 815 aircraft. Boeing CEO

Dennis Muilenburg

He recently told investors that although Boeing has not missed deliveries and does not expect to do so, "I will tell you that in this high-volume business, the daily discipline and focus on the supply chain is really important."

Airbus has two engines that supply its popular A320neo family of new single aisle aircraft and both have had problems. CFM is still behind, said Airbus.

Safran Chief Executive

Philippe Petitcolin

He has blamed delays in the problems of suppliers of the joint venture, in particular with forged parts, often large pieces of metal that can be difficult to produce. The company said it planned to catch up this summer.

Airbus also buys engines from Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp. Pratt & Whitney said it delayed deliveries while solving design problems that caused the components to fail prematurely. . According to Airbus, Pratt & Whitney now delivers as planned.

Pratt & Whitney said it had reached delivery commitments and remained committed to achieving its 2018 target.

Airbus considered slowing the production of single-aisle aircraft while the engine makers recovered, but they feared that this could affect other parts manufacturers, causing delays, said the head of the commercial aircraft of Airbus.

Guillaume Faury.

Instead, he continued to build aircraft, Faury said, gambling makers would catch up.

Boeing had a more conservative view of the number of engines that its suppliers could deliver, according to company representatives.

Spirit AeroSystems, the manufacturer of fuselages and wing parts, began shipping wing parts for Airbus long-range A350 aircraft. to its factory in Scotland through costly air freight, to get there on time, said

Scott McLarty,

Vice President of Spirit for the United States and Malaysia. After catching up, the parties now go back to sea.

Airbus has asked Spirit to maintain additional inventory for the A350 and A320 aircraft parts, McLarty said. Spirit, to protect its own production commitments, is asking its suppliers to also keep a spare inventory. He has also audited vendors to make sure they have the staff and resources to keep up, he said, and has begun to obtain parts from more than one supplier.

"Today's job is not just to run a factory, but to run the entire supply chain," McLarty said.

Problems in the supply chain have leaked to pbadengers.

Joanna Barlow

and his partner

Dan Winyard

they had to travel to Boston from Birmingham, England, next month to visit the family in Primera, the low-cost Scandinavian airline. That flight was canceled because Primera could not get its jet on time from Airbus. They changed their reservation, but then their return flight was also canceled due to lack of airplanes.

"Flights are definitely not expected to be canceled," Barlow said. "And certainly not because of the lack of aircraft."

-Andrew Tangel contributed to this article.

Write to Robert Wall at [email protected] and Doug Cameron at [email protected]


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