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airBaltic replaces 50 engines on its Airbus A220-300s in two years

Riga, Latvia - airBaltic, the largest operator of the Airbus's A220-300s, had to replace 50 engines in the first two years.

The airline said the engine replacements were conducted for different reasons, including scheduled maintenance.

airBaltic took delivery of its first Airbus A220-300 jets in December 2016. The Baltic carrier is the launch customer of the type. The Latvian company is also the largest operator of the A220-300s with 20 aircraft.

The carrier added the 14th A220-300 at the end of 2018. Each aircraft is equipped with Pratt & Whitney's two PurePower PW1500G geared turbofan engines.
This means airBaltic had to conduct almost two replacements per engine on every aircraft in the first two years.

The surprisingly high numbers for engine replacements first took the attention of the industry experts when SWISS International Airlines decided to temporarily ground all its Airbus A220 jets.

The Lufthansa subsidiary said it encountered an issue with engines of its A220-300s and wanted to inspect its entire A220 fleet.

Shortly after the SWISS International announced the issue, Pratt & Whitney recommended operators additional checks for its PW1500G engines.

On Oct. 17, SWISS returned all of its A220s into service and resumed flights on a regular basis.

airBaltic has 30 more A220-300 on order with the European manufacturer. In addition to 20 A220-300, the airline also operates eight Boeing 737 and 12 Bombardier Q400.

The 737s and Q400s will be phased out over time and airBaltic will continue its operations as an all-Airbus A220-300 operator.