When you hear the keywords shortage of spare parts and aviation, you intuitively think of the current situation in Russia. In the wake of Western sanctions, Aeroflot cannibalized a brand new A350 to get spare parts for other jets. The low-cost subsidiary Pobeda had reduced its fleet as a precaution in the spring in order to be able to cannibalize aircraft for spare parts in an emergency.

Not only in Russia spare parts are missing, but also in Europe. Swiss boss Dieter Vranckx recently pointed this out in an interview with the Aargauer Zeitung. “What worries us at the moment is the availability of aircraft spare parts due to problems in the supply chains.” According to the manager, the problem is not exactly small and will “keep the industry busy for the next one to two years”.

This is already having an effect on the number of aircraft that can be deployed at Swiss. Repairs that would normally take two weeks now take three weeks because the necessary spare parts have been a long time coming, as the Swiss boss explained. The Lufthansa subsidiary wants to cover possible cancellations by partner airlines such as Helvetic and Air Baltic and approach flight planning conservatively.

When asked by aeroTELEGRAPH, Swiss informed that the missing spare parts were “primarily engines, fuselage parts and various smaller components”. According to a spokesman, Lufthansa Technik also sees a shortage of spare cabin parts, especially for new models such as the A350 or the Boeing 787. This is problematic because there are only a few ways to procure parts alternatively.

Other airlines also confirm the current shortage and are taking various preventive measures. Among other things, Air France-KLM is continuously reviewing supply chains and working closely with spare parts manufacturers to speed up the delivery of parts, a spokeswoman said. In addition, the motto “Repair instead of replace” applies.

It is said that Condor has concluded ongoing component supply contracts for the supply of aircraft spare parts. However, the holiday airline expects “no further restrictions or flight cancellations”, according to a spokeswoman. And Lufthansa also reports that the shortage will not affect the planning for 2023.

The pandemic has disrupted global supply chains. With limited material availability and limited production capacities, some manufacturers had postponed inventory supplies in favor of the production of new aircraft, reports Lufthansa Technik. In the meantime, the global supply level has stabilized at an adequate level.

This article was written by Benjamin Recklies

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The original of this article “Supply chain problems: Spare parts shortage worries airlines” comes from aeroTelegraph.