Airbus has been experiencing a decrease in demand for their A330 product line, possibly due to its less-than-popular widebody frame. This, combined with the company’s inability to recover from an engine delivery deficiency, has forced some airlines to back out of orders. Airbus parts suppliers, Pratt & Whitney and CFM International, have been competing to manufacture engines for the A320neo lines since 2010 but are struggling to keep up with their current delivery commitments. Hawaiian Airlines recently made the decision to drop their previously announced order for six A330-800s, and instead purchased ten of Boeing’s 787-9s. American Airlines followed suit and ordered 47 Boeing 787 Dreamliners after turning down offers from Airbus for their A330 and A350.
Airbus originally projected around 800 of their airplanes would be sold for the year, but after the first quarter revealed only 121 were sold, they made the decision to decrease production; this resulted in a 30 percent decrease in profit and a 12 percent decrease in revenue for that period. Due to significantly lowered demand, Airbus A330 production has decreased from 60 units to 50 for the second quarter next year as well.
CFM, a joint company between GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines that develops, produces and sells LEAP and Airbus CFM56 Turbofans engines, has made commitments to deliver 1,000 legacy engines and 1,100-1,200 of the new model. CFM expects this all to happen this year, regardless of a current delivery delay of what was originally four to five weeks but is now six weeks. Only time will tell if these manufacturers and suppliers are up to meeting the demands set forth by engine companies like Airbus.
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