Lack of spare engines hits the A320neo operators around the world


Montreal - Lack of spare parts and replacement engines from Pratt & Whitney hits the airlines across the world. The Indian airline operator IndiGo holds nine A320neos on the ground while German flag carrier Lufthansa says that there will be no relief soon for its A320neos.

IndiGo confirms that a few A320neo aircraft have been grounded due to non-availability of spare engines from Pratt and Whitney.

The trouble with Pratt & Whitney's geared turbofans has forced the Indian low-cost to ground its A320neos periodically since July, and as of August 20, the number of grounded aircraft became nine, sources claim.

The release of additional spare engines has been initiated by the manufacturer so that all aircraft can be expected to be in service soon. These engine changes are pre-planned and are as per the norms prescribed by the regulator to ensure safe operations,
the airline said in a statement.

On the other side, after more than two years of flight operations with the A320neo, Lufthansa is preparing to face a problematic autumn as the spare parts market has been swept away.

For the next few months, we remain on our own,
said CEO Carsten Spohr confirming that replacement engines for Pratt & Whitney's faulty engines will arrive at Lufthansa at the earliest from November onwards.

Lufthansa has ordered 122 Airbus A320neo. Airbus has only been able to deliver half of the approximately 20 aircraft that were supposed to fly at Lufthansa two and a half years after the EIS. And they spent only 50 percent of the scheduled flight hours in the air.

As a consequence, the A320neo has fulfilled only a quarter of the tasks that Lufthansa actually planned for the aircraft.

The lack of replacement engines could even worsen the situation in the coming months.

We used our last spare engine this morning,
Spohr said on August 14.

As far as I can remember, this is the first time we have not had a single engine in reserve,

The list of shortcomings of the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G is long: long start-up and idle times were followed by software problems, faulty seals, and combustors.

EASA, FAA and the Indian DGCA imposed flight restrictions to the devices equipped with faulty engines.

According to an analysis by the investment bank UBS, 15 out of 140 previously delivered Airbus A320neo with GTF engines from Pratt & Whitney remained on the ground in mid-August. This number was only seven for 205 A320neo which were equipped with the alternative CFM International's LEAP-1A engines.