Safran overcomes supply chain woes as revenues soar

By Tom Batchelor

February 15, 2024, © Leeham News: French engine, equipment and interiors specialist Safran said revenues soared by more than a fifth in 2023 despite a “challenging supply chain environment” and inflationary pressures.

Announcing the company’s full-year 2023 results, CEO Olivier Andriès hailed the progress made last year as “outstanding”. Revenues were up 22% in 2023, to €23.2bn, vs. €19bn in 2022.Safran logo

Safran said this was in part due to its positioning on narrow-body markets, which are now above pre-COVID, 2019 levels and growing. With large order backlogs for single-aisle airplanes, the supply chain has struggled to keep up with demand.

The Paris-listed company’s operating income was up 31%, from €2.4bn in 2022 to €3.1bn in 2023, and free cash flow generation topped €2.9bn, which was above expectations and an increase on the €2.6bn in 2022. Read more

2024 Outlook: A Mixed Bag for Propulsion OEMs

Subscription Required

By Chris Sloan and Gordon Smith

January 11, 2033, © Leeham News: In 2023, a slew of problems plagued propulsion providers, with Pratt & Whitney’s GTF Engine and supply-chain shortcomings grabbing the bulk of negative headlines and customer complaints. There were bright spots for all the big three with a slew of significant orders, emerging technologies, and critical management shifts.

As the calendar turns to 2024, all eyes will be on a return to fulfilling enormous backlogs, supporting OEM production rate increases, and returning GTF-propelled planes to the skies – while edging towards new technologies, both incremental and revolutionary.

  • Pratt and its operators navigate massive AOGs (aircraft on ground) and unhappy customer claims for its GTF.
  • The GTF Advantage closes in on EIS.
  • GTF maladies open the door to a possible new platform, the long-mooted Airbus A220-500.
  • The X66A Tranonic-Truss-Braced Wing offers promise for both Pratt’s GTF and GE’s future RISE engines.
  • GEnx and GE-9X win blockbuster campaigns on the 787 and 777X as the 777X hurtles toward certification.
  • CFM’s LEAP goes from strength to strength on the heels of MAX orders and 737-7 and 737-10 certification and entry-into-service.
  • Fixing LEAP durability and delivery challenges.
  • Rolls-Royce Trent troubles continue to draw the ire of customers.
  • UltraFan testing moves forward in Roll’s quest to build a next-generation engine platform for the 2030s. Read more

Safran revenues take flight, but supply chain woes persist

Subscription Required

By Gordon Smith

Oct 31, 2023, (c) Leeham News: Robust demand in the civil aftermarket sector has helped propel Safran Group’s Q3 2023 revenues upwards. The French firm shared its latest sales results on October 27 and confirmed that it was on track to achieve its year-end targets – but the positive performance hasn’t been universal.

Safran logoA choppy combination of headwinds and tailwinds is currently buffeting the business, whose vast range of interests includes engine development, aftermarket, aircraft interiors, and other MRO-related sectors.

Overall, revenues were up 20.1% year-on-year at €5.82bn, tracking estimates of €5.79bn. As a result, the company reiterated its FY23 adjusted revenue guidance of €23bn, which was raised at the end of July.

Read more

Bjorn’s Corner: New aircraft technologies. Part 9. Engine core advances

By Bjorn Fehrm.

April 21, 2023, ©. Leeham News: This is a summary of the article New aircraft technologies. Part 9P. Engine core advances. The article discusses how developments for the next-generation airliner engine cores will increase the thermal efficiency of next-generation engines.

Figure 1. The Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engine with its compact core enabled by a geared high RPM design. Source; Pratt & Whitney.

Read more

Bjorn’s Corner: New aircraft technologies. Part 9P. Engine core advances

Subscription required

By Bjorn Fehrm

April 21, 2023, ©. Leeham News: This is a complementary article to Part 9. Engine core advances. It discusses in detail the next-generation propulsion system cores and what efficiency improvements to expect from different technological advancements.

Read more

An uneven financial recovery among OEMs and Suppliers

Subscription Required

By Vincent Valery


March 27, 2023, © Leeham News: In an article last year, LNA highlighted the divergence in the post-Covid-19 recovery among OEMs and select Tier 1 suppliers. Airbus had higher profits than before the Covid-19 pandemic, while all others lagged. Revenues were well below 2019 levels.

Commercial Aviation OEMs were severely impacted last year by supply chain disruptions. Airbus and Boeing ramped up production significantly slower than envisioned on all programs. The war in Ukraine and tighter financial conditions are complicating the situation further.

LNA collected financial information on the big three aircraft manufacturers and 10 major commercial aircraft suppliers to assess how quickly they recovered. There will also be an analysis of the numerous charges Airbus and Boeing have taken since 1999 through 2022.

  • Significant differences among the three major aircraft OEMs;
  • One engine OEM lagging;
  • Some OEM suppliers are struggling financially;
  • Twelve-digit accumulated charges at Airbus and Boeing combined.

Read more

Engine Development. Part 9. Gearbox or not?

Subscription Required

By Bjorn Fehrm


October 13, 2022, © Leeham News: In our series, we look at the development of the latest single-aisle engines. Should these be geared? What do you gain and risk with a geared design? Is this a new development, or has it been around for a long time?

We examine the development of single-aisle engines since 2000, their fuel efficiency, and operational reliability.

  • A geared design fixes some fundamental problems in a two-shaft turbofan.
  • CFM proves you could just as well further develop what you have.

Read more

Pontifications: No engines, billions shy, devastating enviro analysis, Boom’s CEO still exudes optimism

By Scott Hamilton

Sept. 20, 2022, © Leeham News: Blake Scholl, the founder and CEO of Boom, the start-up company, continued to paint an optimistic picture about the Overture Supersonic Transport.

He told the US Chamber of Commerce Aerospace Summit last week that the Overture, a Mach 1.7 88-passenger aircraft concept, will revolutionize international air travel.

But Boom has big challenges ahead—not the least of which is that there is no engine manufacturer so far that has stepped up to provide an engine. The Big Three—GE Aviation, Pratt & Whitney, and Rolls-Royce—have either outright rejected participation or other priorities exist.

Plethora of Challenges
  1. Rolls says publicly it won’t pursue an engine for Boom. GE told LNA it’s not interested in developing an engine for Boom. P&W is focused on advances for its GTF, developing sustainable technology and military engines.
  2. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in July issued a report on the environment that eviscerated SSTs and the SAF concept outlined for Boom. The report included analysis from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT).
  3. Scholl claims a market demand for thousands of SSTs but Boom’s 2013 study by Boyd International forecast a market demand over the life of the program of 1,318 Overtures. Some thought this figure was generous.
  4. Boyd’s report also concludes Boom needs a Mach 2.2 airplane to be commercially viable. Scholl reduced the speed to 1.7. This means that in some cases, airline crews can’t do a round trip from the US to Europe without a relief crew, which upsets some of the economics.
  5. If Boom were a publicly traded company, all the orders would fall under the ASC 606 accounting rule that questions the viability of those orders.
  6. Scholl told AIN Online Boom needs $6bn to $8bn to come to market and so far, it has raised $600m.
  7. And we don’t get into the certification and regulatory hurdles. Among them: In his presentation to the Chamber, Scholl said there are 600 potential SST markets. He included some inland in the US, where there is a ban on SSTs flying over land.

Read more

De-carbonisation of air transport is ON

By Bjorn Fehrm

July 20, 2021, © Leeham News: Last week was a game-changing week for air transport. Three events synchronized to trigger it.

EU presented 13 policies to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 with concrete steps in-between. On the same day, the airframe and engine OEM’s CTOs said in a Farnborough Connect webcast: “It’s a commitment problem, not a technical problem to achieve the EU goals.”

This happened against a backdrop of European floodings, which made all discussions about climate change or not moot. Super-organized Germany lost over 100 persons to typhoon like rains, never seen before, that produced scenes like these:

Figure 1. Farnborough Connect, from top-left: Moderator Johnson, Boeing’s Hussein, GE’s Lorence, Rolls-Royce’s Stein, SAFRAN’s Dalbier, Raytheon Technologies’  Russel, and Airbus’ Klauke.

Read more

CFM announces the RISE engine program

June 14, 2021, © Leeham News: GE and SAFRAN took to the stage today to announce the extension of their CFM joint venture to 2050 and the CFM technology program RISE.

RISE stands for Revolutionary Innovation for Sustainable Engines, and it elevates previous work to new levels and introduces some news.

Figure 1. The RISE Open Rotor engine as presented by CFM. Source: CFM.

Read more