Pratt & Whitney-powered A320neos affected by glitch in India: Airbus

IndiGo flight. File

IndiGo flight. File

In a statement, Airbus said it had informed the airline customers affected by the issue.

IndiGo, which is the largest operator of these planes in the country, and GoAir being the other one, have already grounded three such planes following an emergency airworthiness directive from the European Aviation Safety Agency or Easa on this issue over the weekend. "This issue is isolated to a limited subpopulation of engines", it added.

A new glitch causing in-flight shutdowns of the Pratt & Whitney engines that power the Airbus A320neo has prompted some airlines to postpone delivery of the aircraft, the aviation giant said Saturday.

Yet in recent months top officials at both Pratt and Airbus had signaled to investors that they were getting past the problems that have held back deliveries of the single-aisle jet and disrupted airline schedules.

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Airbus says around one-third of the in-service fleet of A320neos and A321neos has those engines installed so far, 11 of which are understood to have all two engines of the problematic standard and 21 just one of them.

The East Hartford manufacturer also said it will join Airbus to present regulators this week with a plan to fix the problem.

Since entering service in January 2016, these engines have more than 500,000 hours of passenger service.

EASA on February 9 issued an emergency airworthiness directive (EAD), warning of a potential "dual engine" inflight shutdown on A320neo-family aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100G geared turbofan (GTF) engines.

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Greg Hayes, chief executive officer of United Technologies, said last April that Pratt incurred costs to retrofit the engines to address durability issues, and related to "helping the airlines through some of this". 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.

"It is too early to determine financial implications, but the fact that it impacts a limited population of engines is a potentially mitigating factor", RBC Capital Markets analyst Matthew McConnell said before the delivery freeze emerged.

"We have three aircraft with the particular engine configuration which have been flagged by EASA", said IndiGo. United Technologies said Monday that approximately 55 engines delivered to the Airbus final assembly line awaiting installation on customer aircraft were also affected.

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