Supply constraints in the airline industry could drag on for more than half a decade, delaying deliveries to airlines and hampering the industry’s rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic, Boeing Company President and CEO David L Calhoun said in Doha Tuesday.
Speaking at a panel session at the Qatar Economic Forum 2023 powered by Bloomberg, Calhoun said, “I can see supply constraints for a very long time. We have backlogs that go out five to six years so if the backlogs would suggest supply constraints that far, that means it’s even further.”
Calhoun noted it could take until the end of 2024 to iron out sector-wide supply chain problems that have hampered global jetliner production.
"Priority one for the two airplane manufacturers is stability," Calhoun said and noted, “We have to resolve the supply chain issues and the surprise associated with it; and we have to resolve it sort of once and for all. That is not a short-term job. It sounds like it might be, but I think it could take all of this year and probably all of next year."
On future developments, Calhoun said the industry was unlikely to introduce all-new jet designs before the mid-2030s.
"I think in our industry, because of some of the constraints both in propulsion and the design of the wing, it's going to be at least until the mid-2030s before we – in this case I'm just going to assume my competitor – will call out that airplane,” Calhoun noted.
Aircraft manufacturers have struggled to increase production at a time when airlines are clamouring for new jets to meet the surge in demand for travel, Bloomberg said in a dispatch.
Component shortages have restricted output as Boeing and arch-rival Airbus SE struggle to scale up production. Calhoun said only after the industry has regained what he called stability — a process that will take about a year and a half — can it really ramp up production rates.
Asked whether the aviation industry will be able to achieve net zero emission by 2050, Calhoun said, “The only real contributor by way of engine technology is sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). That’s the only needle that will move between now and then. There will be advanced technologies – hydrogen included.”