Airbus lowers 2024 guidance amid A320/A321 supply chain and space system challenges

Bjorn Fehrm

June 24, 2024, © Leeham News: Airbus issued a press release today where it lowered guidance for 2024.

The release highlighted two areas as the drivers for the update:

  • Larger-than-expected supply chain issues for the single-aisle segment (A320/A321), where delivery ramp problems in engines, aerostructures, and cabin equipment mean that the guidance for 2024 goes from 800 aircraft in total to 770. Because of this, the ramp to 75 A320/A321 deliveries per month has been moved out a year to 2027 instead of as previously forecasted 2026.
  • The Defence and Space Systems management has, after an extensive review, found schedule, workload, and sourcing challenges for certain Space telecommunications, navigation, and observation programs. Airbus has decided to record charges of around € 0.9bn in the H1 2024 report to cover the problems in these programs.

As a result, Airbus has decided to update the 2024 guidance ahead of its 1H2024 results release, which is on 30 July:

  • Around 770 commercial aircraft deliveries (was 800).
  • EBIT Adjusted of around € 5.5 billion (was €6.5bn to €7bn).
  • Free Cash Flow before Customer Financing of around € 3.5 billion (was € 4bn).

Airbus adds the usual caveats to the guidance:
The Company assumes no additional disruptions to the world economy, air traffic, the supply chain, the Company’s internal operations, and its ability to deliver products and services. The Company’s 2024 guidance is before M&A.

72 Comments on “Airbus lowers 2024 guidance amid A320/A321 supply chain and space system challenges

  1. If you are Tier 1 supplier running flat out and profitable, why are you going to incur costs by expanding?

      • …a concept which appears to be completely forgotten/abandoned over at BA…

          • That does not stop those folks who want to bash Boeing with no interest in Aviation.

    • You’re assuming that the suppliers are running ‘flat out’ aren’t you?

      As an example – is Boeing running flat out? No. It has unused production capacity and is limited by the available staffing and CAA/certification limits. The machinery is there. The space is there. There are even aircraft produced and waiting in the parking lot.

      The people aren’t.

      • Not Williams point.

        This supposedly is about Airbus and its suppliers.

  2. I wonder how the Other Guys will be looking delivery-wise for 2024; the ones who have apparently escaped prosecution for violating their Deferred Prosecution Agreement (per US DoJ, via recent NYT article).

    • Here’s a partial answer to your question:

      “Leonardo is to halt production of composite centre fuselage barrels for the Boeing 787 at its Grottaglie site in southern Italy for four months as it wrestles to align production with lower short-term demand.”

      We won’t even talk about the production rate over at MAX-ville…

      p.s. From what I read elsewhere, the jury is still out as regards possible prosecution by the DOJ (forgive the pun).

      • And the prosecution of Airbus over the Air France south Atlantic crash. The government batted that away early on but the families appealed and won to a full trial, which found major negligence from Airbus ( but acquitted on the manslaughter charges)
        “The court said Airbus committed “four acts of imprudence or negligence“, including not replacing certain models of the Pitot tubes that seemed to freeze more often on its A330-A340 fleet, and “withholding information” from flight operators.

        The court said Air France had committed two “acts of imprudence” in the way it disseminated an information note on the faulty tubes to its pilots.”
        Always best to get an actual french report rather then the major american/UK ones which just copy each other

        • You quoted nicely from the article, but left this out:

          ‘But there was not a sufficiently strong causal link between these failings and the accident to prove that an offence had been committed.’

          ‘The court said that even if “errors” had been committed, “no certain link of causality” between those shortcomings and the accident “could be proven”.’

          • Criminal Manslaughter only was acquittal. As I said !

            The court decision was negligence by Airbus was found
            guilty…x4 on the pitot issues
            and guilty x2 on the false information to operators

          • Step back and look at things from a wider angle.

            The court could not corroborate a connection
            between (late) upgrading pitot probes and the
            mechanics of the AF447 crash.

            Essentially you are barking up a “parking offense”
            in connection to a “motorway pile up” as proven guilt.

          • multiple convictions for negligence is a parking type violations ??. Hmmm 216 pass and 12 crew deaths isnt an oops I didnt feed the meter
            beyond falsehoods, those are lies

            This was a major crash that wouldnt , no couldnt have happened , without contributory negligence from Airbus and Air France

          • What multiple “convictions” you are talking about?? 😭

            This is what the article says: the “court acquits Air France, Airbus over Rio disaster” 😳

            How does that compare with twin crashes of the Boeing 737 MAX that caused 346 deaths?

            Did you scream as loudly? 🙄

          • Who fails pitot tube engineering test. Thales does when the mount their samples on wooden test rigs. This the history ..also in this case??

          • You havent read properly. Acquittal only for the criminal manslaughter – which I mention.
            Guilty on the negligence x 4 for Airbus for the frozen pitot tubes which are leading causes of the crash- disconnecting the FBW system, which like MCAS, the pilots were unaware of so they made the wrong decisions to recover from the multiple alarms

            Its called a split verdict, but still a decision of the court after a full trial

          • Duke:

            Of course Airbus is as pure as whitest of snows.

            So when you have your blinders on, its only Boeing that is complicit.

            Having reviewed a lot of Airbus crashes, their systems are programed weird and its all programs that run an Airbus aircraft.

    • Boeing’s master schedule calls for 42 737 MAX a month from September 😱

    • Airbus: Supply chain woes have slowed our delivery plans to 770 this year

      Boeing: We may be criminally liable for building unsafe aircraft while certification programs for our new aircraft runs years behind schedule. Oh, and we stranded a couple of astronauts in space last month

      • Just can’t force yourself to talk about Airbus, got it in one.

  3. Bloomberg on interiors and Pratt engines:

    “Faury said that cabin parts, for example, are in short supply because airlines are refurbishing older planes, meaning shipments to Airbus are constrained. Many airlines have complained that aircraft deliveries are delayed, forcing them to fly older kit for longer.

    “The CEO said in an interview earlier in June that any supply issues might persist for the next 2-3 years. Faury cautioned on Monday that economic, geopolitical challenges are contributing to the situation and are here to stay “for a while.”

    “Compounding Airbus’s woes are issues afflicting the engines on its bestselling A320 model, which is powered by RTX Corp.’s Pratt & Whitney model or the Leap variant made by the CFM International Inc. consortium.

    “Faury said on the call that the situation has “significantly degraded” in recent weeks, and that the company will end up with gliders by the end of the quarter — industry parlance for planes without turbines. Engine issues are becoming more prevalent, after appearing to be more under control in 2023 and beginning of this year, the CEO said.

  4. For the engine makers to suddenly go slow/backwards on engine availability indicates the issue over ‘titanium from china’ in the supply chain is bigger than earlier thought with just airframe parts

    “the situation with CFM has “significantly degraded” in recent weeks. As a result, Airbus will be completing aircraft with metal blocks in place of engines..” Airinsight

    • The AirInsight article that you’re misquoting actually says the opposite, i.e. that the titanium issue “could become another problem for the industry”, in addition to the existing engine issues.

      “Engines continue to be a supply-chain issue for Airbus, even though it uses both the Pratt & Whitney GTF and CFM International’s LEAP engine. The GTF problems and AOG situation has been well documented, and the situation with CFM has “significantly degraded” in recent weeks. As a result, Airbus will be completing aircraft with metal blocks in place of engines, or gliders, until deliveries can catch up to production rates. Recent issues with false documentation on titanium from China is impact both Airbus and Boeing, and could become another problem for the industry.”

      The titanium issues all trace back to parts supplied by Spirit Aerospace — pylons and doors.

      • I never quoted anyone for saying the titanium issue has spread to engine manufacturing.
        That was my own reading between the lines from the ‘sudden issue with CFM engines’ quoted by Airinsight.

        Can you explain why CFM has major new issues just in the last few weeks?
        I knew the cheer leaders would quickly roll up… roll up.. bringing the circus to town

        • Amusing to say:

          “That was my own reading between the lines”


          “I knew the cheer leaders would quickly roll up… roll up.. bringing the circus to town”

          …in the same message 😅


          In reply to your query: Faury also referred to personnel issues….

          • Ahhh, he who looks in the mirror last sees what they want to.

    • could they borrow from B?

      probably not, all in use there for a long time.:-)

      to whit:
      you must have perfect vision to look past the beam in your eye
      and find splinters elsewhere 🙂

    • How come these big MNC would source material from an unknown supplier?? Greed?

      • Don’t forget ignorance / incompetence.

        I wonder what quality of titanium Spirit *actually ordered* — did anyone actually check that the correct specs were being specified in the order? Does anyone at Spirit even know the correct specs to order?

        • Spirit received its Ti parts from an intermediary manufacturer, Turkish Aviation.
          It was Turkish Aviation who got the raw metal from a supplier in China who counterfeited the documentation

          Thats how the aviation documentation system works, new or repaired parts have the paperwork to prove authenticity.

          • How Partnership for poverty works in real life 😆

    • Gliders

      It is interesting how the aerospace industry is still recuperating from COVID.

  5. for the sake of variety
    COMAC C919 Moves Closer to European Market with Upcoming EASA Visit

    “A delegation of technicians and officials from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will visit China next month to conduct field tests as a preliminary step towards the start of the European certification process for the COMAC C919 aircraft”

    “This will include a visit to the C919 assembly line and a detailed examination of the aircraft with the intention of performing the first certification flight in early 2025, although the date is not yet fully confirmed, the Chinese media reports

    • EASA like the FAA has far stricter evaluations now than even just a few years ago. Settle in for along wait … not that “Chinese media reports” will mention that.
      Maybe, for the first time, exact dimensions will be revealed to show where the ‘pattern plane’ came from

      • counter to the FAA EASA is not tasked with promoting and furthering ( by all means … )
        the home industry.
        ( IMU the trap Misubishi was caught in.)

        This makes interaction with EASA probably easier and a lot fairer.

        • It certainly is promoting and furthering European aviation

          “To be a regional center of excellence in the provision, dissemination and preservation of knowledge in the aviation industry. ”
          The EU just uses its “letter bureaucracies” just as the US government does, to further its economic interests

          • “To be a regional center of excellence in the provision, dissemination and preservation of knowledge* in the aviation industry.”

            I don’t see it mentions “economic interests”. Did you misquote??

          • FAA has “furthering commercial American aeronautics”
            in its charter.
            EASA does not.
            Look back and show some instances where EASA nefariously obstructed a foreign manufacturer.
            ( Established MoO from the FAA side.)

          • Talk about a re-write of history, truly amazing.

    • @ David Pritchard

      You’ll be interested to hear that COMAC has already introduced 3 variants of the C919, namely:
      (1) An ER version with 38% more range / same seat count.
      (2) A high-altitude-airport version (shrink).
      (3) An extra-capacity version, à la A321.

      Also of note:

      “Aircraft lessor DAE sees China’s COMAC breaking Airbus, Boeing duopoly”

      • ‘Aviation industry sources, however, caution that COMAC is a long way from making inroads internationally, especially without benchmark certifications from the United States or European Union, or more efficient planes.’

        “In 30 years from now, I believe we will not be talking about a duopoly, we will definitely be an industry where COMAC plays a much more significant role,” Tarapore said.


        30 years? This is plausible.

        • Western aviation industry sources, no doubt.

          Western automobile industry sources had a similarly dismissive attitude a few years ago — and we saw how that ended up.

          Same with western semiconductor industry sources.

          The west gets surprised by a lot of things: that often happens when one sticks one’s head in the sand.

          • Cars. Chips. Commercial aircraft.

            Which of these 3 are the most difficult and complex to develop, design, get certified and produce?

          • @ Frank P

            Chips, actually.
            And China is excelling in that industry…much to the alarm of the US, which has resorted to “panic sanctioning” in an attempt at damage control.
            China even has its own lithography industry…unlike the US.
            And China has mastered the concept of “k1 tuning” to greatly extend the node range of lithography tools — much to the interest of TSMC. Intel tried to do that for 7 years, but failed.

            Things move very quickly over there in the east…

          • Western countries all use multinational AMSL for lithography ‘printers’ used in their proprietary high tech chips . Each printer for Extreme Ultraviolet chips costs around $200 mill each and AMSL is the only world wide maker

            Over a decade back AMSL bought out Intels development and manufacturing in this technology, and later Hermes Micro from Taiwan doing similar

            And no Intel hasnt failed , they design and make chips not the litho machines
            We are talking about 1.4nm category here

            And no stealing the EUV tech for China wont work out well for that country as it did for airliners.
            Derivatives of western types are the C919 and ARJ21, government owned airlines buying government made planes is a given in their Leninist-party-State system. We wish them good fortune in that approach.

          • @Abalone

            ‘Things move very quickly over there in the east…’

            Then you’re argument about chips being the most complicated doesn’t hold up. If it was so quick and easy for China to able to
            ‘alarm the US’ in the chip and car industries, it certainly hasn’t done the same in the commercial aviation business, has it?

            The ARJ-21

            ‘The development of the ARJ21 (Advanced Regional Jet) is a key project in the “10th Five-Year Plan” of China. It began in March 2002 and was led by the state-owned ACAC consortium. The maiden flight of the ARJ21 was initially planned to take place in 2005 with commercial service beginning 18 months later.[4] The programme became eight years behind schedule.’

            Produced from 2007 until today. Grand total of 137 made.


            ‘The development program was launched in 2008. Production began in December 2011, with the first prototype being rolled out on 2 November 2015; the maiden flight took place on 5 May 2017. On 29 September 2022 the C919 received its CAAC type certificate. The first production airframe was delivered to China Eastern Airlines on 9 December 2022 and was put into commercial passenger service on 28 May 2023.’

            Produced since 2011, launched in ’08, EIS in 2023. 6 made?


            Chips and cars are childs play, compared to commercial aircraft.


            “manufacturing of semiconductors in the United States, for which it appropriates $52.7 billion.[1][2][3] The act includes $39 billion in subsidies for chip manufacturing on U.S. soil along with 25% investment tax credits for costs of manufacturing equipment, and $13 billion for semiconductor research and workforce training, with the dual aim of strengthening American supply chain resilience and countering China.”

            $52 billion – that’ll get you a widebody (and probably a NB as well, if you spend wisely) program. If you’re BA, it’s only one program.


            While you may run down ‘Western aviation industry sources’, the industry is a multiple decades long endeavour and they are correct.

            Baby steps were started in 2002 with the ARJ, and now they are cutting their teeth on the C919 – a 737NG/A320Ceo design, some 20 years later.

            Otherwise, how would explain a total of less than 150 aircraft produced in over 20 years of making them? (You gonna blame the west, somehow?)

            Full steam ahead?

          • @ Frank P

            In reply to your query: it boils down to a lack of prioritization — up to now.

            China still works with 5-year plans — if it isn’t in a plan (for whatever reason), then it doesn’t get prioritized. But it’s squarely on the radar now.

            Same applies to space. Noticed the explosive growth in China’s space program in recent years?

            Same applies to a Blue Water navy: all of a sudden, priorities were re-shuffled, and China now turns out a top-notch destroyer every month.

            The US semiconductor sanctions are actually a long-term blessing to the Chinese semiconductor industry, because they stimulate/motivate further self-sufficiency, and release a bag of money in government funding.
            China used to buy all its sub-EUV litho tools from ASML in Europe; however, thanks to sanctions, SMEE in China is now producing its own sub-EUV tools. That’s 40% market loss for ASML, and a domestic bonus for China. Good deal?

          • @Abalone

            ‘China still works with 5-year plans — if it isn’t in a plan (for whatever reason), then it doesn’t get prioritized. But it’s squarely on the radar now.’

            I will quote again from the ARJ:

            ‘The development of the ARJ21 (Advanced Regional Jet) is a key project in the “10th Five-Year Plan” of China. It began in March 2002 and was led by the state-owned ACAC consortium. The maiden flight of the ARJ21 was initially planned to take place in 2005 with commercial service beginning 18 months later.[4] The programme became eight years behind schedule.’


            The ARJ was prioritized as part of the 10th – 5 year plan. Then it fell 8 years behind schedule.

            The time it takes to make a modern commercial airline doesn’t care about your 5 year plan. It takes what it takes…

            The C919 took a decade and $20 billion.

          • Is Boing the same Boing of 2002? Is Airbus the same of 2002??

          • @ Frank P

            The 10th 5 year plan specified the development of the ARJ21 — and the ARJ21 was developed. Was there a specific plan to commercialize it to a given extent? Wasn’t it, instead, meant as a practice project for a country starting from scratch?

            How much money was thrown at it? China’s GDP back in 2002 was just $1.8T, whereas it was $18T in 2022. Back in 2002, China was concentrating on updating its infrastructure — which it achieved to a stunning extent. Now there’s time and money for other ventures. There’s also a much more sophisticated education system in place, providing greater numbers of homegrown engineers and scientists

            You really think the next 20 years are going to be some sort of echo of the past 20?

          • @Abalone

            ‘You really think the next 20 years are going to be some sort of echo of the past 20?’

            Well, let’s see what the numbers say.

            The follow on program, the 919 was launched in 2008 EIS was 2023. 15 years.

            First flight was in 2015. Took 8 years from that point to EIS.

            Deliveries as follows:

            Airline 2022 2023 2024
            China Eastern Airlines 1 2 3
            Total 6


            ‘In January 2023, COMAC said it wanted to expand its annual production capacity to 150 airliners within five years.’

            ~12 a month by 2028. For an aircraft that is heavier and doesn’t fly as far as it’s contemporaries.


            In your fervour to defend COMAC, you make almost the EXACT point the article makes:

            ‘In 30 years from now, I believe we will not be talking about a duopoly’

            Says the article.

            ‘You really think the next 20 years are going to be some sort of echo of the past 20?’

            Says you.

            You say 20. It says 30. Both of those estimates could be correct. But it isn’t today and it won’t be in the next 5 years, which is what was postulated in this thread.

            Which is why making commercial aircraft is far more difficult than chips and cars. It will take China 40-50 years to get up to speed (starting from the ARJ) in the industry.

          • @ Frank P
            You’re going back to the past again — 2008, 2015 — but that was a very different China.
            I’m talking about the future.
            I think we’ll be seeing lots of COMACs flying around in just 10 years — probably sooner.

            And no, I don’t have a “fervour to defend COMAC” — I have absolutely zero relationship with COMAC or China. But I do get amused by the continuing gullibility in the west as regards China’s capabilities — and those of BRICS and the Global South.

            The world is changing…even more rapidly of late.

          • Well if it was not so sad it would be funny.

            Airbus got started when there was a gap in product with Douglas/MD fading and Lockheed getting out of the business.

            Despite some very experienced aviation firms and countries (France being a leader with the Mirage) as well as a very independent mandate, Airbus barely squeeked in.

            Scott has written a good book that covers that era.

            China does not make advanced Chips, Taiwan does (well we sold them the setup for it).

            So a China government project with all its drag is going to be cutting edge? Wow. Beam Me Up Scotty.

        • “China still works with 5-year plans”

          That is about 20 times the “look forward horizon” than going by quarterlies, isn’t it 🙂

          • BA has its own 2025 FCF ($10 billion!) plan i.e. to Make Boeing Great [cash cow] Again. Unfortunately the execution is less than stellar.

    • SCMP:
      “Officials from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will take part in flight simulations for the aircraft, confer with its design team and meet with their counterparts in the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) …

      The European delegation will also have “ample opportunity” for detailed examination, boarding the plane for an up-close look and visiting the assembly lines of manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac).”

    • Interesting, thx. What if there’s a third choice available??

      • Good opportunity for RR to get a bigger version of the Pearl onto the market.

        Should also put the skids under the Chinese CJ-1000A.

        Perhaps the time has come for Safran and MTU to come with an offering of their own.

        • The single aisle market is moving upwards to the 200 seater class, so that means 30,000lbs plus thrust class.
          then you have to consider the bigger business jet engines are designed for light duty cycles. Maybe 600-800 hrs per year and slanted to long range flights and at near 50,000 ft cruise altitude.

          A lot of work to make long range business jets engines suitable shorter range cycles with many high power takeoffs, and maybe 9000 hrs per year at very high reliability demanded by the market. Easier to do it the other way round, derate and simplify a high duty cycle engine core for a business jet usage
          I can guarantee RR isnt even considering using the Pearl core for airline use. They have other technolgies and engines cores for that say 35,000 lb thrust class.

          • And a new engine is gonna cost…how much? And takes how long?

            I think the only way someone jumps in with a new offering is if either AB or BA offer a new variant to airlines, a la A322.


            The LEAP (“Leading Edge Aviation Propulsion”)[12] incorporates technologies that CFM developed as part of the LEAP56 technology acquisition program, which CFM launched in 2005.[13] The engine was officially launched as LEAP-X on 13 July 2008.

            CFM carried out the first test flight of a LEAP-1C in Victorville, California, with the engine mounted on the company’s Boeing 747 flying testbed aircraft on 6 October 2014.

            In 2016, the engine was introduced in August on the Airbus A320neo with Pegasus Airlines and CFM delivered 77 LEAP.


            That looks to me like a decade or so. That’s a long time to invest capex into a program, competing against 2 other OEM’s who should have all the kinks worked out (and upgraded engines available) long before you get to market.

            Even the P&W GTF should be fixed by then.

    • Ariane 6:
      “It was suggested that, with ArianeSpace’s launch schedule of 12 flights per year, an engine that could be reused a dozen times would produce a demand for only one engine per year, making supporting an ongoing engine manufacturing supply chain unviable.”

      • Gotta love the EU coming hat in hand to Space X to launch their valuable stuff because they don’t trust Ariana to even work let alone be on schedule.

        Anyone remember the data stack error with the buffer overflow.

  6. The Ukraine war did not help the titanium situation, but this is not everything. Even if Boeing is limping along, you simply cant whip that production over to Airbus. Different suppliers, different forgings and castings.

    • Shhhhhhhh, there are people who are trying to ignore that.

      Me thinks Airbus should do some divesting as well. Clearly rockets are not their thing.

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