P&W working with Airbus, operators on engine problems of A320neo planes

P&W working with Airbus, operators on engine problems of A320neo planes

P&W working with Airbus, operators on engine problems of A320neo planes

IndiGo had said earlier that, on certain days, the airline had seen as many as nine of its aircraft grounded due to unavailability of spare engines leading to flight disruptions. There are also approximately 55 such engines delivered to the Airbus final assembly line awaiting installation on customer aircraft.

Not all of the engines are affected by the issue, though the spokesperson declined to say how many. "As soon as IndiGo learnt of these developments, IndiGo had proactively withdrawn the three A320neo aircraft from service w.e.f. 9th of February", the company said in a statement.

It's impossible to overestimate the importance of the A320 for Airbus.

The problem could become much bigger if the engine supplier cannot find a quick fix, as the delivery schedule of future A320neo aircraft will likely be seriously affected in that case.

Airbus has traditionally offered two engine options on the A320, and the company maintained that approach on the neo. Fellow Dow stock General Electric (GE), which makes the rival Leap engine, climbed 3.4%, though the Leap has run into its own production problems.

A320neo operators with Pratt & Whitney engines have been plagued by reliability issues since they began flying passengers in 2016.

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Delivery of the A320neo, a more fuel efficient version of its best selling single aisle airliner, have also been paused by Airbus indefinitely.

Budget airline GoAir said it has three of these engines installed in its aircraft.

In a statement, Pratt & Whitney said it is working with customers to resolve the issue, which affects the knife edge seal in the high pressure compressor aft hub on the engine. The issue emerged after the company introduced an engineering change in the middle of a year ago meant to improve the durability of the "knife edge seal", the company said.

The issue is the latest in a string of problems that have bedeviled the GTF program.

A total of 113 planes in the A320neo family, used by 18 airlines, are now in service that are equipped with the engines.

It's hard to assess how this latest setback will affect United Technologies' short-term profitability or its goal this year of nearly doubling the 374 engine deliveries it made in 2017, but it doesn't seem good. Pratt won several key orders late in the year as the earlier issues subsided, and executives at Airbus and United Technologies said the manufacturer seemed to be moving on from a hard chapter.

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