Airbus will miss its A320neo delivery target this year after a problem with the Pratt & Whitney engines caused a three-month halt in shipments.
Airbus had planned to deliver about 210 of the Pratt & Whitney-powered planes this year, but will be about 30-40 planes below their goal. Airbus had planned to make up for delayed deliveries from 2017 during this year, but that goal also seems to be out of reach.
Airbus says that it can still reach its goal of delivering at least 800 aircraft total this year.
“At the end of the day or year, what matters is achieving the guidance, to have delivered around 800 aircraft and the corresponding, incoming cash linked to those deliveries,” the company said.
The A320neo delays threaten to expose both Airbus and Pratt & Whitney to late fees from customers. It will also pressure Airbus to pick up production across the board, reducing Airbus’ abilities to maneuver in its schedule.
IndiGo Airlines, India’s biggest airline, is the largest customer for the A320neo with about 430 on order. The airline reports that it has been forced to lease A320ceo aircraft to make up for delays. However, the airline has had its fair share of engine problems with A320 family aircraft.
There are a couple of ways that Airbus could come closer to its goal. The most straightforward way to pick up some of the slack is if the engine manufacturer, which is part of United Technologies, picks up its own production past current levels. Airbus could also ramp up delivery of A320ceo aircraft, which are less expensive than the A320neo variant, in order to meet goals for the A320 family.
Airbus can still deliver up to 210 A320neo planes with engines made by CFM International, the other supplier for the aircraft type. There are, however, planes powered by CFM engines that will go undelivered this year.
Airbus says that it expects rising costs from storing and managing planes that need to have engines installed.
Featured image by Krisztian Bocsi via Bloomberg