AirBaltic has admitted it’s had to replace 50 engines in the space of just two years on its fleet of A220’s.
There’s a complex set of calculations that mean some of them have had as many as three replacements, while later ones one, or none at all – the aircraft has been introduced progressively over that period.
The aircraft type has just had the best part of ten days out of service with Swiss – they grounded their entire fleet after an incident that required a diversion to Paris from a Geneva-London flight.
The engine in question is Pratt&Witney’s PW1500G LEAP geared turbofan engine – and it’s had more than its fair share of issues, including the version used on the A320 series.
P&W say there have been a number of issues, and nobody is shouting loudly about exactly what they are.
In any event, in-flight shut downs, restricted altitudes and hearing issues have cropped up frequently over the last couple of years.
The engine should, after this length of time in service, be fully resolved by now, yet it’s lack of original development time – pressures from airlines and aircraft manufacturers to get it done – seem to have denied it the time needed. In effect it’s still be developed while in daily service with paying passengers.
It’s time all airlines started to take a stand with Emirates – no more under developed engines – for the sake of airlines and the potential risk to passengers and crew.