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Global aircraft construction goes slow

Airbus and Boeing could delay deliveries due to material shortages and logistical difficulties

Global aircraft production is slowing down. A dynamic fueled by a number of concomitant factors: from problems in logistics systems leading to various delays in component deliveries, through shortages of raw materials holding back production, to the accumulation of narrow-body (narrow-body) aircraft orders in airplane manufacturers' portfolios. 

The end of the most critical period (mandatory buffers, restrictions on international travel) of the aviation crisis caused by the pandemic has increased the demand for air travel and changed the needs of airlines, which increasingly prefer narrow-body aircraft, as opposed to dual-aisle aircraft that can be used on medium- to long-haul routes.

Therefore, aircraft manufacturers have accumulated an order backlog of nine years of narrow-body and four years of wide-body production. The consulting firm Alixpartners predicts a return to pre-crisis levels for narrow-body aircraft by 2023-2024 versus 2026 for wide-body.

Airbus' order book is close to 7000 units (91 percent single-aisle and 9 percent for twin-aisle), while it is about 4200 for Boeing (80 percent single-aisle and 20 percent for twin-aisle). For this reason, the two companies are boosting production capacity, but may revise delivery plans due to difficulties in the raw material market and in supply chains.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency