With Airbus having been badly affected by problems with the delivery of Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines for the 320neo, Bombardier has also had to revise its expected delivery figures for 2016 as a result of problems with the PW1500G geared turbofan engine. Of the original target delivery figure of 15 CS100s, Bombardier expects to deliver only seven this year.
The financial implications for Bombardier are not massive. Lower revenues will be reported at Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, but they will still remain within the company’s lower-end original guidance of US$16.5bn – US$17.5bn. Operating profits will remain materially unaffected and should stay within the upper range of their predictions, US$200m – US$400m.
According to Bombardier, these engine delays should not affect the delivery of the first CS300 which is scheduled for delivery to AirBaltic in the fourth quarter. Fred Cromer, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, confirmed that “We are working very closely with Pratt & Whitney to quickly address this supplier ramp-up issue and to ensure we have a strong supplier base to support our long-term growth objectives,” adding “We are very confident in our production ramp-up plan, including our ability to meet our production goal of 90 to 120 aircraft per year by 2020.”
Despite delays, Pratt & Whitney have not changed their full-year predictions for the delivery of 200 geared turbofan engines across the two principal production programs, the CSeries and the A320neo, or three developmental programs for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), Embraer E2 regional jet and Irkut MS-21. So far the company has produced 60 engines, of which 36 have been delivered.
According to Pratt & Whitney, “In terms of production, we’ve made significant headway in the supply chain, but there is some pressure on new engine deliveries for this year. We are working closely with our customers on the delivery schedule, and we are keeping them apprised of the progress being made.”
The PW1100G engines for the A320neo have suffered many teething problems, including unexpectedly intense rotor bow effect extended motor-to-start timing by several minutes, meaning the likes of Qatar Airways had to forego early deliveries until the problem had been fixed. However, this problem did not affect the PW1500G that powers the CSeries family.
In simple terms, Bombardier would seem to have fallen victim to delays for Pratt & Whitney’s planned production ramp-up — the fastest by far in the company’s history.
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