Qatar Airways has dropped its engine supplier Pratt & Witney for CFM’s Leap engines. 50 A321neo’s are to be equipped with the Leap engine instead of the deeply troubled P&W 1000 geared turbofan.
Qatar has grown tired of the endless excuses and development time in the P&W powerplant, which is still not fully resolved after almost two years and several ‘fixes’. Most of the neos with the engines have some kind of restriction still applied to their operations, depending on their power units production line number. These can vary from altitude to speed and thrust limits.
Qatar has refused to take delivery of at least six A320neo equipped with the P&W engine. There is a possibility they may be converted to the Leap 1A instead.
In any event it’s a deeply embarrassing problem for United Technologies owned Pratt & Witney. The P1000 is very much improved but still not good enough for Qatar, which notoriously expects and demands perfection in all things before taking delivery of any aircraft.
The order for the 50 aircraft isn’t new and dates back to 2011, but they were then only A320’s. They will now be A321neo ACF’s fitted with Airbus Cabin Flex.
Qatar says it needs greater flexibility and to increase capacity.