737MAX, A321neo face engine availability delays as production ramps up

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Boeing's latest production challenges with its 737 powerhouse reflect the effects that it and rival Airbus are experiencing as they push narrowbody production to unprecedented levels.

It is not clear how Boeing’s declaration that it will deliver fewer narrowbodies in 3Q2018 will affect its airline customers. Its largest 737 Max customer, Southwest Airlines, has 30 firm deliveries for 2019 as it works to retire some older 737-700s. If Boeing does not catch up on its aircraft deliveries, the delays could possibly create trickle-down effects for Southwest and its fleet planning for next year.

Boeing is not alone in facing production challenges. Airbus at one point had close to 100 new jets left unfinished due to engine shortages. Both CFM and Pratt & Whitney have encountered varying degrees of teething problems with their new generation engines against a backdrop of Boeing and Airbus declaring their intent to push narrowbody production rates even higher.

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