CFM International partner Safran, along with GE Aviation, expects engine demand to increase by 2023, due to the return to service of the Boeing model and increased production of the A320neo family, as reported by Dominic Perry in Flightglobal.
With the gradual return to service of Boeing’s aircraft, the manufacturer estimates that demand for its Leap-1B powerplants will rise to 25 units per week by mid-2023. CFM currently manufactures six engines of the family per week. The output should gradually increase as Boeing clears stockpiled units of its narrow-body model and resumes production ramp-up.
During the nearly two-year shutdown of the type, the Chicago-based manufacturer accumulated an inventory of nearly 500 aircraft. Reduced demand due to the pandemic added another factor to the problem. Olivier Andries, Safran’s CEO, told Flightglobal that the group expects «MAX inventory to be used up over the next two years», which should lead to «a very sharp increase in production at Boeing». According to Safran, by the end of 2023, «about 50 737 MAXs» per month should be coming off the production lines. Safran points out that this pace should be maintained for at least «the next two years».
Airbus will also join Boeing’s production increase. The European manufacturer, as reported about a month ago, plans to increase production of its A320neo family – in which the Leap-1A has a 60% market share – to 65 units per month by 2023, so total engine production should surpass the record of 2019 when more than 40 units per week were coming off the assembly line. In total, in the last pre-pandemic year, CFM delivered more than 1,700 engines in the family. Although that number was drastically reduced in 2020 and 2021, the forecast stands at around 2,000 units in 2023.
While Safran is confident that it will be able to meet the production goal proposed by Airbus, it remains cautious. Andries noted that «it is not yet time to report on this particular issue as the supply chain has been severely compromised by the crisis.»