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Supply chain issues: Rolls-Royce repairs and recycles older parts

Supply chains are under pressure globally. Engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce must therefore use spare parts again. Relaxation is not yet in sight.

The pandemic and war in Ukraine has put pressure on supply chains around the world. There are always bottlenecks at critical points – and this has a domino effect. For example, Air Baltic has not been able to use several Airbus A220s for a while because the airline cannot carry out regular maintenance – there are no spare parts, as Air Baltic boss Martin Gauss explains in the aeroTELEGRAPH podcast airspace.

Rolls-Royce is also feeling the problems in the supply chains. The engine manufacturer is also dependent on many suppliers. “We repair and use spare parts again where we can,” said CEO Warren East this week when presenting the quarterly figures to analysts.

All engine manufacturers are struggling

Rolls-Royce is not alone with the problems. “We face the same problems as everyone else. We’ve got a lot to do,” East said, according to Aerotime. Both Airbus and Boeing had already declared that they would produce fewer aircraft than they had actually planned, also due to the lack of engines.

“Our major customers in the aerospace industry need more engines from us than we can supply,” admitted Lawrence Culp, head of GE’s aerospace division, at the end of July. Pratt & Whitney, which produces engines for the Airbus A320 Neo, among other things, sees it similarly.

Relaxation only in 2023

In 2025, Airbus would like to produce 75 A320 Neo per month. “Airbus would like to have us on board sooner than we think we’ll be able to. We’d like to reach that rate sometime in 2026,” Rick Deurloo, Pratt & Whitney’s commercial jet engine manager, said at the Farnborough Air Show, according to AIN Online.

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All managers do not see the current situation easing until next year at the earliest. “The external environment remains challenging: the war in Ukraine, inflationary pressures and supply chain constraints are impacting our business. We assume that these problems will continue into 2023.

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