Airbus to miss A320neo goal on Pratt engine troubles

- A Monitor Report 02 Jul, 2018  |    -      +
Toulouse, France : Airbus SE will miss its delivery target for Pratt & Whitney-powered A320neo narrow-body jets this year, after problems with the engines caused an almost three-month halt in shipments, people familiar with the matter said.

France-based plane-maker expects to deliver 30 to 40 fewer of the aircraft than previously anticipated, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified discussing a confidential matter. Airbus had planned to hand over about 210 of the Pratt-powered jets – one of two engine options for the A320neo – during the rest of this year. It could get closer to that target if Pratt, a unit of United Technologies Corp., can accelerate engine production beyond current levels.

The delays on Airbus’s hottest selling model – a workhorse for airlines worldwide – threaten to expose the planemaker and Pratt to late penalties from frustrated customers. The tardiness also will pressure Airbus’s effort to ramp up production generally, reducing room for manoeuvring in its schedule. The company had planned to use this year to catch up from other delivery delays from 2017, a goal that is now out of reach.

Airbus can still reach its overall production target for shipping 800 planes of all its models this year, it said in a statement, declining to comment on specifics of the A320 program. Airbus is due to publish monthly order and delivery totals for June this week.

The company can even meet its target for deliveries of the A320 family of planes, people familiar with the matter said, by picking up the slack with other models, including the A320ceo. That variant is less expensive than the more fuel-efficient neo, which stands for new engine option.

The latest problem in the engine – a fault in its knife-edge seal that led to in-flight shutdowns – is just the most recent in a series of afflictions for the turbine. Bloomberg News reported last month that Pratt & Whitney is close to finalizing a redesign of the faulty engine part.

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