As aircraft deliveries continue to ramp up, Airbus is aiming to take a tighter grip over the scope for Buyer Furnished Equipment (BFE) - basically the seats, galleys and in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems specified by the customer. Late delivery or faults with such items, especially IFE, has begun to cause "significant delays" on assembly lines says Javier Sanchez, vice-president of BFE management. Although no aircraft have yet gone out late, it is costing Airbus dear.

The problem, he says, stems from the high number of companies involved in supplying the equipment and the difficulty in identifying who is responsible for delays within the tangle of contractual relationships. He identifies at least 15 mainstream suppliers of IFE. So Airbus is now moving to cut the number of "prime" suppliers to "no more than four and no less than two" in each area. These will contract direct with Airbus, with responsibility for managing others in the chain. Sanchez says that a catalogue of suppliers will be drawn up from which airlines can choose. There will be flexibility to go beyond this choice, but Airbus is intent on staying in overall charge of managing the programme.

Source: Airline Business