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Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

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Airbus still confident of 75 narrow-body jet output per month by 2025 despite current supply chain problems

While maintaining its proposed output target of 75 narrow-body jets per month by 2025, European planemaker Airbus has been forced to accept current supply chain issues and has lowered the pressure on suppliers to commit to meeting Airbus’ proposed target. Currently many suppliers have openly confirmed that parts’ shortages would remain “largely through the end of 2023”, according to a recently published Jefferies poll.

Prior to 2025 Airbus is looking to ramp up production numbers to 65 units a month in 2023 for narrow-body jets, though the time period to reach this target has been postponed until early 2024. While increasing numbers of suppliers sound the alarm over parts and labour shortages, Airbus has privately recognised the challenges of reaching the higher target by 2025 even as it sticks firmly to an earlier goal of 65 a month, up from 50 or so now, it said.

Requests for detailed plans of how suppliers will get to 75 are "going quiet," a senior aerospace source told Reuters news agency. The head of Raytheon Technologies, the world's largest aerospace supplier, Chief Executive Greg Hayes, called into question this end-target last week. "If you take a look at the projections for Airbus, we think that Airbus by 2025 will be at rate 65 (a month). And Guillaume (Faury) might say rate 75, but we think rate 65 is doable," he told a Morgan Stanley conference.

Back in July, Airbus upped its forecast numbers for jet deliveries over the next 20 years as high fuel bills and environmental pressures prompt airlines to seek more fuel-efficient planes. Industry sources say the company is also under pressure to raise output to reduce a bulge of orders in the middle of the decade after multiple airlines deferred deliveries during COVID-19. An Airbus spokesperson said on Wednesday the company's production decisions follow "analysis of global demand and an assessment of the readiness of the industrial eco-system".

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GKN Aerospace celebrates grand opening of aero-engine parts repair facility in Malaysia

On the last day of the MRO ASIA show in Singapore, GKN Aerospace has celebrated the grand opening of its all-new facility for aero-engine parts repair in Johor Malaysia with an inauguration ceremony. The ceremony was originally scheduled to take place in February 2020 but had to be postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The site is focusing on servicing engine low-pressure compressor (LPC) components for CFM56-5B, CFM56-7 and V2500 engines. The first CFM platforms have been repaired and delivered to customers in December 2021. The repair of V2500 fan blades kicked off in June 2022. The portfolio will be expanded with GTF 24K fan blades and CFM fan blades later this year and early 2023.

Research is centred around the application of additive manufacturing technology into engine parts repair.  

The current team of 90 employees will grow to 150 operators in 2023 and further expand to 300 within five years. GKN Aerospace is providing on-site training for employees. The expansion to Asia is an important part of GKN Aerospace’s long-term growth strategy and global operating model. The facility is complementary to GKN Aerospace’s existing component repair facility in El Cajon, CA to meet growing demand in the Asia Pacific region.

The new site is a fully owned GKN Aerospace business. Johor offers favourable conditions in the areas of business development, labour, education and training and infrastructure. It also has an excellent location relative to the company’s major customers in Asian Pacific Region.

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Wizz Air to acquire 75 new Airbus A321neo aircraft

European low-cost carrier Wizz Air has given notice to Airbus to exercise its purchase rights in relation to 75 Airbus A321neo aircraft.

The 75 additional A321neo aircraft, most of which are expected to be delivered in 2028-29, underpins Wizz Air’s ambitious goal of more than tripling the size of its fleet by the end of the decade to become an airline of 500 aircraft. Strengthening its position as one of the most sustainable low-cost airlines, the A321neo aircraft incorporates the latest technologies in aviation and offers significant environmental benefits, with a nearly 50% reduction in noise footprint, a 20% reduction in fuel consumption and 50% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions.

Wizz Air currently has a fleet of 165 ultra-modern and efficient Airbus aircraft. Wizz Air operates one of the world’s youngest short-haul fleets offering customers an unrivalled travel experience while minimising carbon emissions.

Boeing to slash staffing for IT and finance – 150 jobs to go in finance alone

North American planemaker Boeing has announced that as part of its corporate structure simplification programme and its decision to focus more on manufacturing and product development, numerous jobs in both the IT and finance sectors are to be shed.

This year 150 jobs are due to be cut in the United States in the finance sector. This move is in contrast to major recruitment programmes which have seen 10,000 employees added to the engineering and production workforce.

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Heart Aerospace selects MSB (Sogeclair) to support interior development of latest electrically powered aircraft, ES-30

MSB, a Sogeclair company, supplier of innovative, high-value added solutions for safer and more efficient mobility, has signed an agreement with Heart Aerospace, manufacturers of the electrically powered ES-30 regional aircraft to design and develop some 60 key structural components for the cabin, flight deck and cargo sections.

The scope of work includes full provision of floor coverings, headliners, acoustic and thermal insulation, emergency equipment throughout the fuselage and cabin seat integration. Individual components to be provided for the individual aircraft zones include flight deck console trim panels, side ledge and stowage systems; cabin sidewall, window shades and passenger service unit; and cargo area linings, tie-downs, and nets. Completion of the first phase of the project is anticipated in the final quarter of 2023.

Heart Aerospace selected MSB (Sogeclair) based on its extensive experience in providing interiors development support for new aerospace programmes and the company’s deep knowledge of the importance of balancing weight, materials and functionality, with style, passenger experience and operational budgets. Intended to support regional operations the focus on sustainability and low operating costs will be reinforced by the work of MSB in designing lightweight components and reducing non-recurring costs.

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Airbus tests loading system for outsized military cargo on Beluga

Airbus Defence and Space has developed and tested a loading system to lift outsized military cargo into the Airbus Beluga A300-600ST aircraft. The capability was successfully tested during a verification exercise with the German armed forces, the system’s first customer, by loading a CH53 military medium-lift helicopter into the Beluga. 

The new self-funded cargo loading system and jig, developed by engineers at Airbus Defence and Space, have now been unveiled to customer representatives from international armed forces following the verification event in Manching, north of Munich. The system was developed and manufactured from scratch in 1.5 years – from the initial exchange of ideas with the German customer to its verification, which is still subject to final confirmation by the Bundeswehr in the coming weeks. The system enables arrangements for the loading of a CH53 helicopter in a reduced state of dismantling to be completed within less than 1.5 hours while the actual loading process into the Beluga aircraft can be accomplished in about an hour. The total lifting capacity of the system, which requires no crane for its use, reaches 35 tonnes and can be relocated to the aircraft’s destination. 

Prior to announcing plans to offer the services of its existing BelugaST fleet earlier this year, the fleet of five aircraft was solely used for the transport of large aircraft sections between various Airbus sites as part of the company’s production system. With the advent of the new BelugaXL, based on the larger A330-200 platform, the existing BelugaST fleet is made ready for customer transport services worldwide.

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Topcast wins exclusive distribution agreement from Av-DEC

Topcast, the aircraft parts distributor and MRO service provider, has won an exclusive distribution agreement of products from Aviation Devices & Electronic Components, LLC (Av-DEC), the innovative anti-corrosion solution provider. Upon the contract signed as of the first day of MRO Asia-Pacific 2022, Topcast will represent all corrosion-prevention products engineered by Av-DEC to customers in South-East Asia.

Corrosion is a gradual deterioration of a material’s surface through chemical reactions and is a threat to all aircraft, as they operate in extreme environments that speed up corrosion. This problem can be extremely costly to aircraft operators in parts overhaul and replacement if no preventative measures are taken.

Av-DEC offers comprehensive, adaptive, and economical solutions with a wide array of form factors to mitigate the corrosion concern. Carefully engineered HI-TAK® gaskets, injectable and sprayable sealants, and HI-TAK® polyurethane rolled sealants (PRS®) are ideal products for protecting aircraft structures and parts from corrosion, appliable to all kinds of flight vehicles.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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Tamar