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Supply chain disruption to affect Airbus’ delivery schedule?

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Airbus’ A320-neo family jets are powered by engines from General Electric and Safran joint venture CFM International and Pratt & Whitney

Aviation giant Airbus may delay the deliveries of some medium-haul aircraft in 2023 amid supply chain and labor problems.

According to reports from reported Global Banking & Finance Review, Airbus is racing against the time to complete delivery targets for 2022, while facing uncertainties over supplies of new engines, along with shortages of spare parts and labor.

While flights are getting grounded due to technical issues, the engine overhauling functions are getting delayed too. As per sources, at least one engine maker is undergoing the pressure of shifting resources away from aircraft production-related commitments, in order to keep the existing aircraft fleets going.

Airbus’ A320-neo family jets are powered by engines from General Electric and Safran joint venture CFM International and Pratt & Whitney. There are reports of a gradual increase in the number of parked A320neo jets since 2022, and most of these are powered by P&W engines.

Rob Morris, a senior official of Ascend by Cirium, recently said that some 129 Pratt-powered Airbus jets and 55 fitted with CFM’s LEAP engines remained grounded in 2022.

Neither engine maker had any immediate comment.

While sources from the jet engine said that snags were not solely to blame for maintenance-related delays, one anonymous executive even remarked that the aircraft makers are facing production difficulties in terms of getting parts such as galleys and lavatories on time.

The reports of jet delivery delays from Airbus factories come at a time when the planemaker is planning to reach an interim monthly production goal of 65 A320 jets by 2024, followed by 75 a month in 2025. The company even has made significant progress on its ZEROe programme, under which it will make ‘zero-emissions commercial aircraft’. Airbus has also completed the prototype development for its cryogenic hydrogen fuel tanks. The first test flight is scheduled for 2026.

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