Pratt & Whitney’s production capacity remains too tight to further boost geared turbofan output should demand for Airbus narrowbodies increase amid the Boeing 737 Max grounding, says the chief executive of P&W parent United Technologies.
“There are a lot of constraints out there,” UTC CEO Greg Hayes says during an earnings call on 23 April. “Additional capacity, it’s tough.”
He was responding to a question about whether P&W could produce more engines should airlines demand more GTF-powered Airbus A320neo family aircraft. The question comes amid a global grounding of the 737 Max, an aircraft powered solely by the Leap-1B, an engine made by P&W competitor CFM International.
Airbus offers the A320neo with two engine options, the PW1100G and CFM’s Leap-1A.
But Hayes says P&W has little ability to produce more engines, citing casting and forging bottlenecks.
“Trying to get additional capacity into the supply chain on the casting front is very, very difficult,” he says.
P&W recently increased its forging ability by adding a fifth forging line at a site in Georgia.
“But frankly, as we look forward, that fifth press is almost fully utilised in terms of the volume we see today,” Hayes says.