Airbus: Pratt & Whitney, CFM on track with recovery plan for A320 engines

The delays in getting A320 aircraft engines from Pratt & Whitney and CFM International have left Airbus lagging behind the pace it needs to reach its full-year delivery goal. (Reuters)
Updated 14 June 2018
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Airbus: Pratt & Whitney, CFM on track with recovery plan for A320 engines

HAMBURG: Engine makers Pratt & Whitney and CFM are on track with a recovery plan after delays left Airbus having to park dozens of aircraft without engines, an executive at the European planemaker said on Thursday.
“We have agreed on a plan with both of them to catch up with production, both are now hitting the targets and are on track, which is good news,” Klaus Roewe, head of the A320 jet family program, told reporters in Hamburg as Airbus inaugurated a new assembly line for the best-selling single-aisle plane.
The delays in getting engines from United Technologies unit Pratt & Whitney and CFM International, co-owned by Safran and General Electric, have left Airbus lagging behind the pace it needs to reach its full-year delivery goal.
With jets left parked at its production sites while they wait for engines, Roewe said Airbus would have reduced production had it known the extent of the problems.
“Did we intend to build so many airframes to park them? For sure not,” Roewe said. “If we had known the size of the technical and industrial problems we might have slowed down production.”
He said Airbus would not be parking aircraft by the end of the year, but would still be in arrears in terms of deliveries.


OPEC rift deepens as Iran walks out of key meeting

Updated 27 sec ago
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OPEC rift deepens as Iran walks out of key meeting

VIENNA: Iran's oil minister walked out of a key meeting with OPEC peers on Thursday, as a rift deepened with regional rival Saudi over its push to ramp up the cartel's oil output.
"I do not think we can reach an agreement," Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told reporters at his Vienna hotel after storming out of talks with a group of ministers on the eve of a crucial OPEC meet.
The talks were meant to lay the groundwork for Friday's gathering of the 14-nation Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), when the cartel will discuss easing a supply-cut deal with 10 partner countries that has cleared a global oil supply glut and pushed crude prices to multi-year highs.
The output curbs have been in place since January 2017 but Saudi Arabia, backed by non-member Russia, is now pushing to raise production again in order to meet growing demand in the second half of 2018.
But the proposal has run into resistance from Iran, Iraq and Venezuela, who would struggle to immediately raise output and fear losing market share and revenues if other countries open the spigots.
Iran is particularly vocal about its objections as it braces for the impact of fresh US sanctions on its oil exports after President Donald Trump quit the international nuclear agreement.
But Riyadh, which cheered Washington's exit from the nuclear pact, is under pressure from Trump to boost output in order to lower oil prices ahead of November's midterm elections.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih had earlier signalled a compromise could be in the works.
He acknowledged that a big production hike might be "politically unacceptable" to some OPEC countries and said it was important to be "sensitive" to those concerns.
The 24 nations in the pact, known as OPEC+, initially agreed to trim production by 1.8 million barrels a day but they have actually been keeping more than two million bpd off the market.
Observers believe a face-saving deal could be brokered if members simply stopped over-complying with the current pact, and agreed to stick to the original reduction quotas -- which would bring several hundred thousand more barrels to the market each day.
But that is easier said than done since much of the shortfall has come from Venezuela, where an economic crisis has savaged the nation's petroleum production.
Output has also plummeted in Libya, where fighting between rival factions has damaged key oil infrastructure.