MIAMI — Operators of the Pratt & Whitney 1000G for the Airbus A320neo continue to face extensive challenges with the next generation engine. After solving a series of mechanical problems with the 1000G, Pratt & Whitney is struggling to deliver new engines or modify existing engines on delivered aircraft.
According to reports, up to 16 out of the 55 active Pratt & Whitney A320neos are currently grounded awaiting new engines. Airways has only been able to verify that 14 are currently out of service and cannot confirm that all of these aircraft are awaiting new engines.
Select A320neo aircraft for ANA, China Southern, IndiGo, Hong Kong Express, LATAM, and Spirit are all currently grounded.
For over three months, two Spirit A320neos have been stored at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport awaiting new engines. Possibly due to these issues, Spirit recently pushed delivery of several A320neo aircraft from 2018 to 2019.
— Chris Sloan (@airchive) June 23, 2017
— Benjamin Bearup (@TheAviationBeat) June 20, 2017
In April, a Spirit Airlines spokesperson told Airways “The issues with the Neo engines have led to some cancellations within our network, but from a customer’s perspective, the impact has been minimal. To be clear, this is not a safety issue. The Neo engines are electronically monitored so this allows us to check any potential issues well in advance of any larger issues. But the issues with the NEOs has caused a spare engine problem for Spirit. Spirit relies on Pratt & Whitney and Airbus to provide the support we need to make our operations run smoothly. We are working with the engine manufacturer to provide the needed support. We are also working with both Pratt & Whitney and Airbus on short term and long term solutions to provide the support we need.”
Also in April, a spokesperson for Pratt and Whitney commented: “We are working closely with Spirit on this issue and will continue to support the airline, a valued customer, to minimize any inconvenience.”
According to The Times of India, almost half of Indigo’s fleet of A320neos are currently grounded awaiting new engines. The article reports that Indigo currently has nine A320neos parked.
While Pratt & Whitney appears to be making progress in putting grounded A320neos back into the sky, the delays are almost certainly costing airlines millions. In recent months, Spirit Airlines has had to temporarily lease aircraft from Miami Air due to a shortage of aircraft. According to a source at Spirit, the two stored aircraft at DFW will remain out of service for at least another month.