Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Growing pains of Pratt-powered A320neo presents challenges for airlines

To say that the Airbus A320neo family has seen a rough start to service might be underselling the challenges the re-engined aircraft are facing, mostly due to issues with the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G geared turbofan powerplants.

First came the rejection of the initial deliveries by Qatar Airways. Then came engine startup time issues once in service with Lufthansa. IndiGo and GoAir, both of India, have faced significant challenges in keeping their A320neo fleets flying this year. Altitude restrictions and increased inspections have reduced the type’s dispatch reliability for the airlines for several months now.

Spirit Airlines was the latest carrier to indicate issues with the type, temporarily grounding a handful of its A320neo aircraft with similar engine issues as the Indian carriers. These engine issues now see airlines adjusting fleet plans, including delivery delays and conversion of A320neo orders to the A320ceo classic engine option.

Last week both JetBlue and Spirit Airlines confirmed that upcoming A320neo orders will convert to A320ceo aircraft. Spirit will convert two of four aircraft previously set for 2018 delivery to the classic engine option. Delivery of the new CEOs will be accelerated from 2018 to late 2017. The other two NEOs set for 2018 delivery are now delayed into 2019.
03/05/16 Runway Girl Network