As summer winds down there is good news coming from Toulouse. Airbus has been working diligently through the “glider park”.
The year started wobbly. No A320neos with the GTF were delivered February through March. Pratt & Whitney stopped the engine line in February to work on the knife edge seal issue. But the engine maker recovered quickly. Whereas they delivered 374 GTFs last year, it appears they are on track to do much better this year. In May Pratt & Whitney delivered 75 engines. We expect deliveries of 650-700 engines this year. That is at least 74% higher in one year even with hiccups in the first quarter. Which is impressive and a testimony to the new leadership that is open to hearing bad news and working collaboratively to fix it. CFM has admitted it is running a little late too. CFM is under a lot more pressure with also having to get engines to the MAX program. On the issue of replacement engines for early unscheduled removals – both engine makers are making more spares available, and both should get credit for ramping up production and overhaul for new programs.
Airbus is increasingly confident they will meet their 800 aircraft delivery target – despite “challenges and risks”. That 800 excludes the A220 which may add another 36. June saw Airbus deliver 67 A320neos, their highest to date. Airbus says, “the trend is there”. The ”glider park” saw 100 aircraft in June. July was down to 80 and its currently heading to 70.
The bottom line here is that Airbus and its supply chain have been beavering away at issues quietly. The focus on work effort without fanfare is delivering results. Another example, Airbus believes they will deliver 10 A350s this year, a 35% increase over last year.
There has been no public shaming of suppliers for a while, because in the end this doesn’t solve the immediate problems. Concerns about the big changes at the top of Airbus management team has left the actual tremendous work effort largely ignored.
Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.