The finance director of Airbus on Thursday rebuked Pratt & Whitney for engine problems that have delayed deliveries of its A320neo passenger jet and reserved judgment about how quickly planned fixes would resolve the issue. Harald Wilhelm told reporters the demonstrated performance on the U.S. company’s new Geared Turbofan engines was “not satisfactory” and that although a technical solution was in hand, “we still need to see proof coming through”.
The delay of A320neo deliveries to the latter part of the year was the main factor dampening profits in the first quarter, he said, after Airbus reported 52 percent lower core profits. Airbus is sticking to its target for 200 A320neo deliveries in 2017, after 26 in the first quarter, but has reminded Pratt & Whitney of its commitments for 2017 and 2018, he added.
Pratt is one of two engine suppliers on the A320neo. Airbus aims to deliver more than 720 aircraft in total in 2017, he said, fine-tuning a published target of more than 700. Airbus said earlier that its first quarter was affected by “transition pricing,” or the need to discount end-of-line models as new versions come in, but Wilhelm said there had been no further deterioration in pricing beyond its anticipated plans.
Airbus’ Frankfurt-listed shares were down by 4.2 percent, following the company’s first quarter results.