Airbus S.A. reportedly has settled future supply deals with its major jet-engine suppliers, Safran S.A. and MTU Aero Engines, which would allow the OEM to increase production of its A320neo narrow-body aircraft series. The two suppliers have confirmed the new supply deals to start in 2024, though Airbus has not commented on the news.
While there is apparent demand for new commercial aircraft, major suppliers to jet manufacturers have been hesitant to increase their production rates due to supply-chain complications.
Neither Safran nor MTU have indicated the terms of their new supply deals with Airbus.
The A320neo is a twin-engine, medium-range aircraft of the type that has seen increased demand with carriers in the post-pandemic period. Airbus slashed its production rate in 2020 and currently produces 50 A320 series jets/month – but securing engine supplies would clear it to increase output in line with rising commercial aviation demand.
A320neo operators have a choice of the LEAP-1A engine, produced by Safran through its joint-venture with GE Aviation, CFM International; or the PW1000G engine, produced by Pratt & Whitney in collaboration with MTU Aero Engines. Both are high-bypass turbofan engines chosen by Airbus when it updated the aircraft to the -neo (“new engine option”) variant in 2016, for greater fuel efficiency.
Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury recently stated the company will increase A320 series output to 65 jets/month in mid-2023, but other sources claim that figure could rise to 75 jets/month by 2025.