Aircraft lessor Avolon joined other stakeholders in sounding the alarm that “endemic” delays in the delivery of new planes have contributed to a global scarcity of commercial aircraft.
Some 1,700 single-aisle and 700 twin-aisle aircraft “that had been planned but were not built” due to the Boeing 737 Max grounding and then the pandemic are being blamed for the shortage of aircraft, according to a 2023 outlook published by Avolon on 16 January. This is in addition to the supply-chain difficulties and worker shortages faced by airframers today as they attempt to ramp up production.
According to Avolon, the airline sector needs to improve its capacity to respond to rising global passenger demand due to a shortage of available planes. Last week at the Airline Economics Growth Frontiers Dublin event, Steven Udvar-Hazy, executive chairman of leasing giant Air Lease, forecasted that the two main airframers would fail to meet their narrowbody aircraft delivery targets for 2023 due to supply chain delays.
Udvar-Hazy says, “From our personal experience, I can confirm that both OEMs are struggling to satisfy their contractual promises.”
According to Avolon, airlines would only be able to expand their services in 2023 due to supply-side restrictions rather than passenger demand. This prediction was echoed by Ryanair’s group CEO Michael O’Leary later in the week, who remarked, “There are not a lot of spare planes out there.”
Since Europe will approach 2023 with fewer planes in operation than in 2019, despite robust demand for air travel, O’Leary said that high fares are one of the implications for consumers of that capacity shortage on the broader market.
Given that “no project has ever scaled up at a rate above four to five monthly units per year,” Avolon thinks it will be difficult for Airbus to fulfil its goal of increasing A320-family production to 75 monthly units over the next three years, up from 45 currently.
According to the report, “to focus on delivering to schedule and quality versus aspiration,” Airbus’ aim, and a similar one at competitor Boeing for its 737 programmes, would be pushed back by one year.
This week’s data reveals Boeing manufactured far fewer 737s in 2022 than it had intended. This comes after Airbus reported delivering 661 commercial aircraft in 2022, about 40 shy of a conservatively revised target.
Source: Flight Global