Key Points:

  • Aerospace supply chain issues are not resolved and expected to last till 2024.

  • Titanium and steel shortages contribute to sector inflation.

  • Safran grapples with recruitment challenges after a spate of early pandemic retirements.

Safran and GE's LEAP Engine Production Affected by Supply Chain Challenges

PARIS — CEO of Safran, Olivier Andries, voiced concerns on Friday about the persistent challenges in the global aerospace supply chain. Highlighting the severity of the situation, he remarked, "The issues with the supply chain are ongoing and are anticipated to persist broadly through 2024." This statement was made to the AJPAE, a recognized French aerospace media association.

In collaboration with General Electric, Safran is responsible for the production of the LEAP engine, a preferred choice for medium-haul aircraft. Beyond this, Safran holds its position as one of the global leaders in supplying diverse aeronautical equipment.

According to Andries, specific commodities like titanium and steel are experiencing significant supply constraints, which are exacerbating inflation within the aerospace domain. He also drew attention to shortages in areas like castings and forgings. On a positive note, he mentioned the worldwide computer chip scarcity has shown signs of alleviation.

However, Andries also highlighted another challenge: difficulties in staff recruitment. This problem arose in the wake of many choosing early retirement during the COVID-19 crisis. These combined supply chain and recruitment challenges have presented obstacles in amplifying the production of airliners.

On the topic of production plans, Andries informed journalists that CFM is in sync with manufacturers up to the end of 2024. The discussions are ongoing regarding the volume of engine supplies planned for 2025. It's noteworthy that CFM holds the exclusive rights to power the Boeing 737. Additionally, they possess a 60% backlog share for the Airbus A320 — an aircraft where airlines have the flexibility to select engines either from CFM or Pratt & Whitney.