Aircraft makers to face delivery challenges

Aircraft makers to face delivery challenges

Riding on strong travel demand and the need for fuel-efficient planes in times of soaring oil prices, aircraft manufacturers had a “successful” 2013 with more orders. But an aviation thinktank has forecast that the current year is less likely to create new records as massive backlogs outweigh production rates.

The five prominent manufacturers – Boeing, Airbus, ATR, Embraer and Bombarider – delivered at least 1,578 aircraft last year. Boeing delivered 648 aircraft followed by Airbus 626, Embraer 90, ATR 80 and Bombardier 90.

The growth in the industry is evident from the fact that the combined deliveries of Airbus and Boeing were 979 aircraft five years ago, while a decade ago it was 605.According to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), fuel prices and strong travel demand have pushed the demand for aircraft up, but 2014 is less likely to create new records as massive backlogs outweigh production rates.

“Neither Airbus nor Boeing expect a repeat of 2013 ordering levels in 2014. Both Airbus and Boeing sales teams are lamenting a lack of delivery slots, even as aircraft production has touched a record pace. 

Most major carriers have weighed in with their orders and delivery slots for the most popular types are increasingly scarce,” it said.

More than 1,500 western-manufactured aircraft were delivered to commercial airlines in 2013, an unparalleled rate of expansion for global commercial airline fleets. If production rates at Airbus and Boeing rise on expected lines in 2014, global deliveries could top 1,600 for the year, CAPA said.

Growing air travel demand regardless of economic conditions, coupled with high oil prices have ensured demand for newer and more efficient aircraft.

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