Delays in New Aircraft May Impact Summer Travel

Delays in Boeing & Airbus aircraft may impact capacity during summer travel season

Delays in the delivery of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and Airbus A320neo jets may impact fares during the upcoming summer season according to travel experts. 

Boeing is facing delays in the delivery of the new Boeing 737 Max aircraft following the Alaska Airlines incident earlier this year.  

In the weeks following the incident, Boeing is facing greater scrutiny from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, with regulators requesting key documentation as they investigate the cause of the incident.  

The regulator has also limited the output of Boeing 737 aircraft, which has already started to impact many airlines. 

Ryanair told investors that its projected passenger total to the end of March 2025 will fall from 205 million to below 200 million, due to delays in receiving new Boeing aircraft, according to The Independent 

Boeing’s woes have become Airbus’ gain, as demonstrated at the 2023 Singapore Airshow. Airbus is expected to deliver about 800 commercial aircraft to its customers, an increase of 65 aircraft from 2023 according to the Financial Times. 

Similarly, the company is planning to build 75 more of its bestselling A320 jets.  

However, the A320 jet, particularly the A320neo jet is suffering from issues that should signal note of caution for Airbus. 

Some Airbus planes contain a Pratt & Whiney Geared Turbofan (GTF) engine, which last year was found to have a contamination problem in the powder metal used to manufacture engine parts.  

The powder metal is used to manufacture parts such as high-pressure turbine disks and high-pressure compressor disks. 

Pratt & Whitney identified 1,200 of its geared turbofan engines that would need to be inspected and fixed. The engines would need to be removed, disassembled and examined by specialist teams, reports the Independent.  

However, this was revised up from an initial figure of 60 days to 300 days per engine, with RTX which provides the P&W engines, confirming that it would have to pull off a total of 600 to 700 engines during an inspection period running from 2023 to 2026. 

This would mean an average of 350 jets potentially being grounded per year, according to Reuters. 

However, a recent earnings call from RTX in January of this year, revealed that they have revised a previous higher peak in 1st quarter of 2024 of parked jets but are still sticking with the 350 jets per year average. 

RTX expects a $3.5 billion pre-tax hit to its profits over the next several years, according to various media outlets. 

Airlines including Lufthansa and Wizz Air grounded more than 100 aircraft between them. 

Wizz Air is a major customer of A320neo jets along with Spirit Airlines, Jet Blue Airways, and Hawaiian Airlines. 

These customers are very exposed to any delays in Airbus aircraft, as they lack in-house repair and maintenance support systems, making them reliant on outside service providers. Providers who are already facing significant pressure across the industry. 

It is these factors that many travel experts believe will combine to potentially push up the price of fares during the summer travel season, as airlines seek to recuperate loss income from grounded and delayed aircraft.  

Post Date: 08/03/2024

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