Flights Cancelling Over Airbus A320neo Engine Problems

The Airbus A320neo or ‘new engine option’ was first delivered to Lufthansa in 2016. Over 6000 of the family have been ordered. The plane comes with either a CFM or Pratt & Whitney engine.


Lufthansa A320neo landing at London Heathrow, Copyright: jarekk / 123RF Stock Photo

And the Pratt & Whitney version has problems. A string of issues with the A320neo Pratt & Whitney engines have delayed deliveries. Now European air safety officials have issued emergency restrictions grounding affected aircraft after “several occurrences of engine in-flight shutdown.”

Pratt & Whitney said Friday that “this issue is isolated to a limited subpopulation of engines” and airlines with potentially affected engines had been notified.

Airbus said 113 A320neo planes, spread over 18 airlines, feature the Pratt engine but not all those engines are affected by the part problem.

About 250 A320neos have been delivered, however the rest do not feature this engine and are unaffected. Deliveries of all A320neos with Pratt & Whitney engines have been halted. Some flights have already been cancelled.

IndiGo, India’s biggest carrier, said on Saturday that it had withdrawn three affected planes from service and canceled some flights after the European Aviation Safety Agency warned of a new issue on the troubled engine program that may be connected to several in-flight shut downs. The investigation to determine the root cause continues, the agency said.

…The European regulator said operators with planes using two affected engines must stop flying them within three flight cycles. Aircraft with one affected engine are restricted from certain extended-range flights.

As many as 11 of the 113 delivered Pratt-powered jets have been grounded, according to people familiar with the matter, with 43 in-service engines affected in total, all from the most recent batches to come off the engine-maker’s production line. Further turbines at both Airbus and Pratt facilities are affected, they said.

A Hawaiian Airlines A320neo is affected as well. Reportedly variants of the PW1100G engine with serials numbers P770450 and above are the ones in question.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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