Friday, August 24, 2018

Airbus A320 Engine Fix Won't Come for Months, Lufthansa Says

Engine glitches that have disrupted Airbus SE A320neo jet operations around the world may take at least three more months to resolve amid a scarcity of upgraded turbines, according to comments from one of the planemaker’s biggest customers, Deutsche Lufthansa AG.
Fixes for the snags afflicting the geared turbofan, or GTF, powerplant made by United Technologies Corp.’s Pratt & Whitney unit and its partners won’t immediately filter through to the Lufthansa fleet, according to the German carrier’s chief executive officer, Carsten Spohr.
“Our dialog with the manufacturers, especially Pratt & Whitney, on the big issues surrounding the A320neo engine suggests there’ll be no relief soon,” Spohr told staff in comments confirmed by Lufthansa. “For another few months we’ll be on our own. At the earliest, the fixes will come in November.”
While Pratt has eliminated the most pressing faults with the GTF, it’s having to juggle demand for replacement engines with the need to supply turbines to about 100 new planes that have been parked up awaiting the fix. That’s meant that Lufthansa and other early customers for the A320neo, most of them in Asia, are having to wait in line until spare turbines become available.
Among issues afflicting the GTF, Pratt has fixed a faulty knife-edge seal in all turbines by reverting to an older design while working on a more durable replacement. The retrofit of a new combustor has yet to be completed, with the glitch causing some recent groundings at India’s IndiGo, whose aircraft fly in hot, dusty conditions that put a strain on engines.
24/08/18 Richard Weiss/Bloomberg