Shortage of spare parts is forcing airlines to fly, report says

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  • Lufthansa, Qatar and Silver Airways are among those suffering from a shortage of aircraft parts.
  • Airlines are grounding some planes and asking suppliers to ramp up production.
  • The lack of plane parts could add to the travel chaos faced by passengers over the summer.

Some airlines are forced to ground flights due to a shortage of aircraft spare parts, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Lufthansa, Germany’s largest airline, is one carrier struggling with parts shortages, according to the report, and must source components such as cabin panels from other parts of the world.

Qatar Airways is keeping an Airbus A380 superjumbo on standby in case its planes are grounded due to parts shortages. It is also flying its planes fewer hours to manage the effects of engine maintenance delays.

Travelers have already suffered flight cancellations and delays at airports around the world due to staff shortages, with many airlines facing a shortage of pilots as well as baggage handlers. A lack of spare parts could mean additional travel chaos for passengers this summer.

Regional airline Silver Airways told the Journal it was “really difficult” to get parts and so one or two of its roughly 20 planes couldn’t fly. He said a plane was grounded for more than a week because he couldn’t get the necessary tools.

Aircraft parts makers are looking to ramp up production to overcome delivery delays as travel returns increase this summer. CFM International is about two months late in delivering new engines, reports The Journal, and is trying to speed up deliveries by working with suppliers.

Engine maker Rolls-Royce is also experiencing delays but is working with customers to find solutions, while rival Pratt & Whitney is looking to boost engine deliveries later this year.

Airlines have already reduced their flight schedules this summer to deal with the disruption, made worse by the surge in travel demand after the pandemic. American Airlines cut thousands of flights scheduled for the summer to help minimize travel chaos.

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