Can supply keep up with demand as aviation business booms?

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. hiatus / haɪˈeɪ təs / (n.) – a pause or break in doing an activity

    My favorite author is set to release a new book after a two-year hiatus.

  2. extravaganza / ɪkˌstræv əˈgæn zə / (n.) – a big and very expensive event

    The tickets for the music extravaganza were too expensive.

  3. constraint / kənˈstreɪnt / (n.) – something that limits or restricts what something/someone does

    We had to stop the project because of budget constraints.

  4. bottleneck / ˈbɒt lˌnɛk / (n.) – a problem that causes delays

    The staff pointed out that the main bottleneck in the project was the late approvals.

  5. scale down / skeɪl daʊn / (phrasal v.) – to reduce something in amount

    The restaurant needed to scale down on workers.


Read the text below.

The aviation industry has bounced back after the pandemic halted air travel during the coronavirus lockdowns. Now aircraft manufacturers are struggling to produce enough jets to keep up with demand from carriers.

The Paris Air Show is back after a four-year hiatus caused by the pandemic. Airlines, manufacturers, militaries and industry analysts have landed at Le Bourget to the north of the French capital for this aviation extravaganza.

More than 300,000 people were expected to visit the site. They got to see the latest aircraft, from huge passenger jets to the innovative 2-seater electric air taxi VoloCity that will begin commercial flights next year. At the last show, in 2019, $140 billion worth of contracts were signed. The show’s CEO was expecting more orders would be made.

“I suppose there will be a lot of deals signed during the show, but we will see tomorrow or we will see the day after,” says Gilles Fournier, CEO, Paris Air Show. He added, “The orders are very important in the last few months and it will be very important during the show. So I suppose there will be a lot of orders.”

But placing orders is one thing. Receiving them is quite another. As people start flying again after the pandemic, demand is high. But making enough airplanes to meet that demand is proving a struggle.

“Right now, demand is not the problem. Supply is the challenge. Supply is the key constraint,” explains Darren Hulst, Vice President, Marketing & Sales for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

The industry-wide production bottleneck stems from the pandemic when demand for flights fell off a cliff and supply chains had to scale down. Now air travel is surging again.

“To be frank, we started this decade with the biggest challenge the industry ever faced, went to zero demand and the production that had to adjust for it. And now we’re coming back up. And it’s not as easy to just to turn a switch,” says Hulst. Industry analyst Richard Aboulafia says this is the strongest aviation market he’s seen in 35 years.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • According to the article, the industry-wide production bottleneck in the aviation industry stems from the pandemic. In your opinion, is it possible to avoid issues like this in any business or industry? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Hulst added that now the industry’s coming back up, but it’s not easy to just turn a switch. What do you think that meant? Do you agree with his statement? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • People have started flying again after the pandemic. In your opinion, is the current increase in air travel a good or bad thing? Why? Discuss.
  • With the return of air travel, what strategies do you think airlines should do to meet passenger demands (ex. open enough booking slots for passengers)? Discuss.