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Airbus Says It Can’t Meet Current Demand for Single-Aisle Jets

European planemaker’s sales efforts hindered by production capacity constraints for its popular A320 over the next three years

Airbus SE said it can’t ramp up production of its popular single-aisle jet fast enough to meet demand and forecasts delivery constraints for another three years as airlines clamor for new planes again.

Airbus Chief Financial Officer Dominik Asam, in an interview ahead of the Dubai air show that started Sunday, said airlines are asking for delivery of new aircraft after most of them stopped ordering new jets and tried in many cases to defer or cancel orders during the Covid-19 pandemic. Airbus is pushing sales—what the industry calls sales “campaigns”—but is constrained on what it can promise, Mr. Asam said.

“There is a really vibrant activity on campaigns, especially on the single aisle,” he said. “One real challenge we face is the lack of near-term delivery slots.”

After slashing production amid the pandemic last year, Airbus earlier this year told suppliers to start ramping back up, optimistic that demand would snap back. But aerospace suppliers—just like other manufacturers around the world—have struggled with supply-line disruptions and soaring costs. Mr. Asam said they can’t make parts and components fast enough to allow Airbus to deliver all the jets it thinks it can sell. Each aircraft has about 500,000 parts and components. Airbus receives some 1.7 million parts a day across its factories, he said.

Airbus said earlier this month that it faced delivery shortfalls as it struggles with on-time delivery of components and quality lapses. The restart in production of Boeing Co. ’s 737 MAX after its recertification is also adding pressure to the aerospace supply chain.

Excerpt from WSJ
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Could Boeing and Airbus Make Too Many Jets?

The aircraft giants’ demand forecasts for the next two decades see little damage from the pandemic, underlining the risk that they overproduce.  Amid widespread shortages, one thing in overabundance may be planes.

On Saturday, on the eve of this week’s Dubai Air Show, Airbus  unveiled its latest projections for global aircraft demand. The European plane maker expects the commercial aircraft market—which it shares with its American rival Boeing BA -1.97% —to require 39,020 new planes from 2021 to 2040. This is only 0.5% smaller than the 20-year figure it predicted in 2019, even though many airlines fear Covid-19 will have a permanent impact on business travel. By contrast, Airbus believes jet deliveries will return to their pre-Covid trend with a two-year lag, thanks in part to more freighter sales.

The outlook was more conservative than some analysts expected, but it was hardly conservative. Last month, Boeing similarly trimmed its 20-year delivery forecast by 1%. This seems modest, especially since the U.S. plane maker’s projections are always higher, coming in this time at 43,610 aircraft.

Boeing and Airbus both trust that replacement of older jets will offset lower fleet growth following the pandemic. Replacement demand makes up 46% and 40% of their estimated future deliveries, respectively, compared with 44% and 36% in their 2019 outlooks. This makes sense, as carriers will want younger planes to cut carbon emissions and entice premium passengers back. This battle arguably began in June, when United Airlines announced its largest aircraft order ever.

Excerpt from WSJ
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Airbus Wins First Order for New Freighter as Air Cargo Booms

Order from Air Lease for seven cargo variants of A350 marks Airbus’s push into market long dominated by Boeing

SE booked its first order for a newly launched wide-body freighter, pushing into a market dominated by rival Boeing Co. at a time when air cargo is booming.

The deal is for seven freighter variants of Airbus’s A350. The jet maker announced the plane in July, opting to launch it without any customers. The company said at the time that airlines and specialist cargo operators had asked it for a new freighter.

Shipments of medical supplies and personal protective gear gave cargo an early-pandemic boost, bolstered by a lockdown-fed boom in e-commerce. More recently, manufacturers around the world have turned increasingly to airfreight to bypass snarled ports, packed ships and trucking shortages that have delayed cheaper cargo delivery by land and sea.

Two of the world’s largest container shipping companies, A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S and CMA CGM SA, have ordered new Boeing 777 freighter jets this year, citing the need to have air-cargo options for customers.

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United Airlines Is Fined $1.9 Million for Runway Delays

The airline faced a similar fine in 2012 over the Transportation Department’s tarmac-delay rule

The Transportation Department said it fined United Airlines Holdings Inc. UAL 0.86% $1.9 million for violating the department’s rule prohibiting long tarmac delays, the largest fine it has issued for such violations.

The department on Friday said its Office of Aviation Consumer Protection found that between December 2015 and February 2021 the airline allowed 20 domestic flights and five international flights to remain on the tarmac at various U.S. airports for lengthy periods without providing passengers the opportunity to deplane. The delays affected 3,218 passengers, the agency said.

A United spokesman said the 25 flights were out of nearly 8 million flights operated by United and United Express during the time frame. Since 2015, the company has implemented a diversion-monitoring system that identifies available airports for a flight affected by weather, and it has invested in ground-service equipment, he said.

“We remain committed to fully meeting all DOT rules and will continue identifying and implementing improvements in how we manage difficult operating conditions while maintaining the safety of our customers and employees,” the spokesman said.

Excerpt from WSJ
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