As the number of passengers on flights increases each year, airlines are desperate to acquire more planes. Boeing and Airbus have thick order backlogs, but are having trouble delivering their jets to customers because of an engine shortage, and production delays. Robert Wall and Doug Cameron report for The Wall Street Journal:
Boeing Co. BA 1.49% and Airbus SE, swamped with orders for new jets, are struggling to deliver them all on time—in some cases angering customers and delaying payments.
Airbus has missed a number of delivery deadlines, forcing airline customers to find alternatives, change routes or cancel flights. It has delivered fewer planes than it did by this time last year, despite promising 80 more this year.
The missed deliveries mean delayed payments because most cash changes hands only upon delivery. That has hit Airbus’s closely followed cash flow over the year.
Boeing hasn’t missed any deliveries and said it won’t. But it is straining with the same supplier shortfalls as Airbus, particularly when it comes to engines.
“It is on all of our radars every day,” Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg said Sunday at the Farnborough Air Show, the industry’s biggest trade show of the year. The company has made investments to help manage its suppliers, he said, including in technology to help monitor their performance.
Those efforts are crucial, he said, with Boeing poised to deliver more than 800 planes for the first time this year and more than 900 annually by the end of the decade.
For years, booming demand for new aircraft has made it more challenging for jet makers to deliver planes on time to airline customers. A supply-line crunch for items including engines and wing components is now magnifying the strain.
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