Airbus CEO says Farnborough brings more comfort on engines


The head of the world's largest planemaker, Europe's Airbus, said on Wednesday he felt slightly more upbeat about delayed jet engine arrivals after talking to suppliers and said Airbus' own jetliner delivery targets were "still feasible".

Guillaume Faury was talking to Reuters at the Farnborough Airshow where engine makers said they were working to resolve delays that have been affecting production at Airbus and Boeing Co.

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"I will probably leave the show with a bit more comfort and reassurance," Faury said when asked in an interview about his discussions with engine makers at the show.

"But they still need to demonstrate ... (and) prove that their plans in place will deliver, and that they are really following the trajectory that they have committed to us."

Airbus' best-selling A320neo family of jets come with engines provided by either CFM International, a joint venture between General Electric and France's Safran, or Raytheon Technologies unit Pratt & Whitney.

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GE's chief executive told reporters on Monday that it was doing all it could to be transparent with customers, but declined to make a detailed comment ahead of earnings next week.

Also this week, the civil head of Pratt & Whitney said it expects to have deliveries to Airbus on track by early 2023.

And the head of Boeing's civil unit, whose 737 MAX relies exclusively on LEAP engines provided by CFM, said engines remained the "number one constraint" in the supply chain.

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More broadly, aerospace and other industries are grappling with problems in receiving parts amid labour shortages, COVID-19 infections, rising freight costs and changes in work patterns.

"I think it's fair to say that the environment remains challenging. And some of the problems won't go away in a couple of weeks or months," Airbus' Faury told Reuters.

"I believe it's reasonable to say that we're close to the low point and the bottom of the situation. It's probably going to improve slightly, moving forward, and then accelerate."

Asked whether Airbus could reach its 2022 delivery goal of 720 jets, after delivering a net total of 295 in the first half, Faury said deliveries would be more backloaded than last year but less so than during a previous engine supply crunch in 2018.

"The more we move forward, the easier it will be to answer that question. Today, it's still feasible," Faury said.

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