Flood in Thailand is affecting aircraft tire supply

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The destructive and deadly flood that hit Thailand two months ago is expected to affect the airlline industry, specifically the supply of bias aviation tires.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. says its Bangkok, Thailand, facility, which produces aviation tires, was affected by the severe flooding. Since then, it has been in regular communication with its commercial airline customers regarding "a potential global shortage of bias aviation tires" that it now has determined "may begin affecting the commercial airline industry in February or March 2012."

The floodwaters that idled Goodyear's plant finally receded during the last week of November, allowing the company to make an assessment of the damage and to get a clearer understanding of the impact on the global aviation tire business.

In response to the flood, Goodyear:

* increased its production of aviation tires in its other facilities such as the Danville, Va., manufacturing plant, and retread production facilities in Stockbridge, Ga., and Kingman, Ariz.; and

* has been pursuing other viable sources of tire supply for its customers, which includes seeking assistance from other aircraft tire manufacturers.

The company also is seeking assistance and support from its suppliers, governments and regulatory agencies to enable the fastest possible return of full supply of global aviation tires, in part by restoring full production at the Bangkok facility as quickly as possible.

The re-start will be subject to equipment status, availability of materials, ability to ship product and materials in and out of Thailand, and other factors yet unknown, adds Goodyear.

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