Spare parts shortages are forcing airlines to ground planes, report says

Spare parts shortages are forcing airlines to ground planes, report says
A Qatar Airways jet.Stephen Jones / Insider
  • Lufthansa, Qatar and Silver Airways are among those suffering a shortage of plane parts.
  • The airlines are grounding some planes and asking suppliers to ramp up production.

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

Lufthansa, Germany's biggest airline, is one carrier grappling with parts shortages, the report said, and is having to source components such as cabin panels from other parts of the world.

Qatar Airways is keeping an Airbus A380 superjumbo on standby in the event that its planes are grounded as a result of the shortage in parts. It is also flying its planes for fewer hours to manage the effects of engine maintenance delays.

Travelers have already suffered flight cancellations and delays in airports across the globe as a result of staff shortages, with many airlines facing a lack of pilots as well as baggage handlers. A lack of spare parts could mean further travel chaos for passengers this summer.

Regional airline Silver Airways told The Journal it was "really hard" to obtain parts and that one or two of its 20 or so planes could not fly as a result. It said one plane was kept on the ground for more than a week because it was unable to obtain the necessary tools.

Airplane parts manufacturers are looking to ramp up their production to overcome delivery delays as return for travel surges this summer. CFM International is about two months behind schedule with the delivery of new engines, The Journal reported, and is trying to speed up its 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 seeking to increase engine deliveries later this year.

Airlines have already trimmed its flight schedules this summer to cope with the disruptions, worsened by soaring demand for travel after the pandemic. American Airlines cut thousands of flights that were scheduled for the summer to help minimize the travel chaos.