Air Lease will continue to experience delays to its deliveries in 2019, management says.
“While we believe Airbus has its industrial recovery plan in place, and that Pratt & Whitney are getting their arms around these issues, we fall just short of saying these problems are fully behind us,” chief executive John Plueger told investors during a fourth-quarter earnings call on 21 February.
The Los Angeles-based lessor says it continues to receive delay notices from Airbus into 2020. While Air Lease predicts the delays will be in lower volumes this year and less prolonged than in 2018, the company says “they’re still happening”.
During the first quarter of 2018 Air Lease sourced aircraft on the secondary market due to engine manufacturing delays. The lessor continued to experience delays into the second quarter, as it noted during an earnings call in August.
Plueger specifically noted issues to Pratt & Whitney’s geared turbofan engine. P&W struggled in recent years to ramp up production of geared turbofans amid supply chain shortages and technical issues, including problems with the high-pressure compressor that caused a halt in deliveries last year.
“We remain concerned about the global supply chain requirements for ongoing production ramp-up in single aisle production rates,” says Plueger. “We remain concerned because the supply chain is very constrained.”
Executive chairman Steven Udvar-Hazy says while Airbus is running behind on A320neo and A321neo deliveries, Boeing aircraft are mostly on time.
Air Lease has a total of 134 A320neo family aircraft, of which 58 are to be fitted with P&W engines, on order with Airbus,