Airbus has seen a recovery in engine supply over the past two months, but believes wider supply chain issues won’t normalize until at least the middle of next year.
Chief executive Guillaume Faury, speaking at a capital markets briefing on September 23, said the aircraft maker still had 26 or 29 “gliders” – completed planes still awaiting engines – at the moment. end of the first semester.
But that’s been ‘down to single digits’, he says, adding: ‘A lot of engines were coming in over the summer, the engine builders have been fulfilling their commitments over the past few weeks.
“So we saw, very quickly, a change.”
Airbus still needs to deliver around 320 planes in the last four months of the year to meet its overall target of 700.
“Based on the visibility we now have of the supply chain, we think it’s manageable,” Faury says. “But I’m not going to tell you it’s easy.
“Like every year-end race at Airbus, it’s a challenge. We’re on the right track to get there, but there’s still a lot of work to do. »
He says he is “uncomfortable” with the situation, but is also unaware of any new crises on the horizon that would jeopardize the achievement of the goal of the aircraft manufacturer.
“It’s not just a year-end battle,” said Faury. “It’s something that we also have to deal with in 2023, and it will be another difficult year.”
He says he’s not sure when the supply chain situation will normalize. While some estimates point to mid-2023, others are more conservative and suggest the whole year will be affected.
Faury says the aircraft maker still sources titanium from Russian supplier VSMPO, which negotiates without sanctions, but he says preparations are underway to tap alternative sources.
“We are moving forward to be able to be safe from anything that might happen,” he says.
But he adds: “A world without Russian titanium is not as good a world as it is today in aerospace.”
Faury says an inability to use this source would be a “pure lose-lose situation”, but that Airbus is “preparing for this scenario”.