Delays seem to be expected within the aviation industry. Timeframes for certification, production and deliveries are all slipping and impacting many now.
As reported by Bloomberg, Airbus is now actively informing customers that the wait for the newest aircraft, the A321XLR, will be longer. While reported slipping by a few months, it is still a significant moment for the program.
Airbus delayed its entry into service from 2023 to 2024. This was due to the additional fuel tank incurring concerns regarding a potential fire hazard. However, there are continued stresses surrounding supply chains and regulatory approvals of that same fuel tank.
The placement of the fuel tanks has come under close inspection by the EASA. Airbus is in a puzzle with the prospect of needing to alter the aircraft. Any changes could impact the range and weight of the plane.
Given that the XLR stands for Xtra Long Range, this is one of the reasons customers have invested. Therefore, Airbus wants to avoid any technical changes that may add weight or any change to the specifications of the plane.
Airbus cites the supply chain as one of the key reasons why the delays are being felt once more. However, it doesn’t just sit with their XLR program, nor just Airbus. All aircraft manufacturers, companies outside the industry, and more feel the same pressures. For the aviation industry it’s impacting everyone in different ways. Whether this prevents the delivery of jets on time, businesses from thriving or something else, all are equally feeling the brunt. Internally at Airbus, it has been a critical catalyst for their adjusted production targets which have all been delayed.
The current operating climate makes it challenging for these manufacturers to get the desired results they want out of programs. However, frustration grows at key airlines every month despite understanding the situation. These airlines rely on new planes to improve their business, cut down costs, or expand their network.