DALLAS — Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris (Y4) has agreed to lay off approximately 200 employees due to problems with the engines of its Airbus 320 aircraft, which have required early maintenance.
The latest airline to issue a statement regarding the Pratt & Whitney (P&W) engine issues is Air New Zealand (NZ). The southwestern Pacific Ocean carrier expects the problem to last into 2025, causing the airline to ground two to four aircraft at any one time. The Auckland-based airline also said it would suspend service on two international routes to ensure it could serve the remainder of its schedules.
In July, P&W announced that a powder metal defect could lead to the cracking of some engine components in its geared turbofan engines for the A320neo aircraft. P&W called for accelerated inspections of the engines and shop visits globally.
Volaris P&W-powered Fleet
According to ch-aviation.com, the Mexican LCC’s A320neo and two A321neo aircraft are currently grounded for maintenance out of its fleet of forty-five A320-200Ns, six A321-200Ns, and 16 A321-200NX equipped with PW1000G engines. The airline also operates one A319-100, thirty-nine A320-200s, and ten A321-200s, with an additional 142 A320neo Family aircraft on order from Airbus.
Volaris’ most recent labor deal with its employees offers advantages that go above and beyond what Mexican law requires. However, the adjustments are temporary. Once the current situation of preventive engine overhaul is overcome and the capacity of its fleet has been recovered, it will give preference to these personnel in the re-hiring process.
This labor situation arises due to the problems Y4’s fleet has faced with GTF engines, which have required accelerated maintenance and, in some cases, their temporary withdrawal from service.
Mexican news outlet aristeguinoticias.com reported last week that, as part of its action plan to mitigate the effects of this situation, Volaris had extended 18 aircraft leases that were scheduled to expire in 2024 and 2025. In addition, it plans to add 24 new Airbus aircraft over the next two years and is actively seeking additional aircraft and engines.
Featured image: Volaris N531VL Airbus A320-271N. Photo: Misael Ocasio Hernanadez/Airways