Aircraft engine and parts manufacturers have faced consistent disruptions to production rates since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, as inflation, supply lines, and labor shortages affect essential steps in aircraft production. The effects on the aircraft industry due to these factors, and more, have been staggering.
Service hangars for passenger airplanes, including private jets and commercial aircraft, have had difficulties procuring parts for scheduled turbine engine maintenance. Despite stockpiling turbine engine parts to prepare for maintenance orders, shops now take twice as long to perform required maintenance.
Keep reading as our team at Aviation & Marketing International (AMI) discusses issues affecting the aircraft industry below, including supply chain issues, inflation, labor shortages, and more.
Like many other industries, aircraft engine and parts manufacturers haven’t been able to readily procure essential components due to supply chain shortages and disruptions since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The pandemic led to a ripple effect in labor and supply lines, which the industry may feel for years to come as it will take time to hire experienced aircraft manufacturing workers. With a decrease in aircraft teardown orders, many manufacturers and maintenance hangars are seeing a higher demand for new or used-serviceable parts to keep planes in the air.
Many manufacturers offset costs for commercial aircraft and passenger airplanes with government contracts. However, several companies within the industry have suffered massive contract cancellations with government entities, while defense contractors hire workers away from smaller aircraft production companies.
Aircraft industry professionals know that a plane only makes money when it’s in the air. When an engine requires maintenance, mechanics install a lease engine so they can work on the engine in the shop while the plane can fly. Longer maintenance times due to shortages have several negative impacts, including:
At the start of the pandemic, many large manufacturers laid off substantial portions of their workforce. Some even temporarily halted operations altogether to reduce production costs during international shutdowns that brought most of the aircraft industry to a standstill.
Now aircraft manufacturers need to hire new production line workers in a highly competitive market with few experienced workers currently looking for work unless it’s to move up to a higher salary. Many skilled workers left smaller companies to pursue contracts with larger employers or even left the aircraft manufacturing industry altogether.
Additionally, inflation is extremely high, leading to higher production costs and lower production rates for new aircraft parts.
Where turbine engine maintenance once took approximately 45 days on the higher end, shop lead times now estimate 90 to 120 days or more to acquire the right turbine engine parts and schedule the maintenance with an experienced mechanic.
For example, Honeywell, the producer of TFE731 engines and parts, has moved manufacturing out of the United States and, in some cases, employ single-source vendors for spares. When a shutdown or slowdown occurs, there is no other approved source for material. In the event of a shutdown or slowdown in production rates, engine shop inventory depletes as mechanics perform scheduled turbine engine maintenance with the TFE731 parts they have on hand.
Shortages of aircraft engine parts could ground several planes and essential military training jets. Unfortunately, supply chain and labor shortages increase production costs and times while reducing the reliability of flights and training for pilots, passengers, and air shipping.
At Aviation & Marketing International, we specialize in TFE731 parts, engines, and maintenance. Our 13,000-square-foot climate-controlled warehouse maintains an inventory of over 54,000 TFE731 parts and whole TFE731 engines.
We have disassembled and certified thousands of engines and parts over the years, even for discontinued TFE731 engines.
While manufacturers may not be able to make these parts on-demand, we can keep our customer’s aircraft maintained and flying with our massive warehouse supply.
Call us today at 281-359-3266 to learn more about our TFE731 engine and parts availability.