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Scoot blames flight cancellations on lack of spare parts due to supply chain issues

SINGAPORE – Budget airline Scoot has blamed its latest wave of flight disruptions on a shortage of spare parts resulting from supply chain problems.

His latest comments come a day after The Straits Times reported on May 8 that 33 Scoot flights scheduled to take off or land at Changi Airport were canceled during a recent five-day period from May 2 to 6.

On May 7, two Scoot flights were rescheduled and there were no cancellations. On May 8, a Scoot flight was rescheduled and there were no cancellations. No Scoot flights were disrupted on May 9.

In a statement to ST on May 9, Scoot, the low-cost arm of Singapore Airlines (SIA), said: “Scoot can confirm that several flights scheduled for May 2024 are canceled for various operational reasons, including aircraft unavailability due to a shortage of spare parts due to supply chain issues.

The airline said the problem was affecting the aviation industry as a whole, but did not give details on the spare parts and types of aircraft affected, citing commercial sensitivities. He also did not comment on other operational reasons for the cancellations.

The airline again apologized for the inconvenience caused by the disruption, adding that it had proactively contacted all affected customers and reaccommodated most of them on other flights, including on SIA and Scoot.

Customers can also request a full refund for the unused portion of their tickets, Scoot said.

Mr Mayur Patel, head of Asia at aviation data consultancy OAG, said many airlines were revising their flight schedules due to cancellations resulting from checks and repairs for a rare engine manufacturing defect. Pratt & Whitney jet.

Scoot said in March that three of its Airbus A320neos were grounded due to manufacturing defects, up from two.

But a shortage of spare parts, Mr. Patel said, could extend beyond engines and affect other parts of a plane, such as auxiliary power units that produce electricity and cabins. from the plane.

Mr. Patel noted that the aviation industry has faced widespread disruptions to production lines even after the Covid-19 pandemic, due to increased demand for spare parts for parked aircraft requiring active maintenance and d ‘increased corrosion resulting from high humidity levels, such as in Singapore’s climate. .

He said it was common for such supply chain issues to cause flight disruptions across the board.

The increased demand for spare parts could also be due to a surge in aircraft orders as travel rebounds to pre-pandemic levels, and the replacement of parts for faulty Boeing 737 Max jets involved in incidents, added Mr. Patel.

Mr Greg Waldron, Asia editor of Singapore-based aviation publication FlightGlobal, observed that airlines have been grappling with supply chain issues for some time.

Kenya Airways – one of Africa’s largest carriers – faced a shortage of spare parts in January 2023 due to the Russo-Ukrainian war, which crippled the aviation supply chain from Russia . It then announced possible flight disruptions in the second half of December 2023, as one or more of its planes had to remain on the ground for maintenance reasons.

In the first quarter of 2024, Japan’s largest airline, All Nippon Airways, cut about 30 domestic and international flights per day – almost 4% of its daily services – to conduct engine checks on planes equipped with Pratt & Whitney jet engines. .

Mr Patel said some solutions include extending aircraft leases – something Scoot had done for a number of its A320ceos to mitigate the impact of grounding its A320neos – and leasing aircraft and crews with another operator to ensure that flights go ahead as planned.

Mr Waldron added that it is essential for airlines to identify specific aircraft parts or systems facing supply chain disruptions and build resilience in these areas, for example by increasing the supply of spare parts.

Some Scoot crew members and pilots, past and present, had previously informed ST of a possible labor shortage, with standby cabin crew being called almost 100% of the time.

Citing a labor shortage and engine and aircraft problems as possible reasons for the flight cancellations, aviation analysts noted that the labor shortage was also a significant problem for the airline. ‘aviation industry.