Airbus suspends deliveries after a new engine problem


(Reuters) – Airbus (PA:AIR) has suspended the delivery of certain devices in its range A320neo powered by Pratt & Whitney and has suspended flight testing of pre-delivery as a result of a problem found on the engines of the american group, has learned to Reuters, two sources aware of the folder.

Airbus reported the problem to the airlines and the leasing companies concerned and told them that he was not yet able to determine how long it would take to resolve the issue, said a source who requested anonymity.

Another source said that these deliveries were no longer relevant but had not been formally discontinued.

A spokesman for Airbus said the european group of aeronautics was “in discussion with its customers about the schedules of deliveries” on the basis of the case-by-case basis.

This setback comes just a few weeks after Airbus reported an improvement of the trouble of delivery on the part of Pratt & Whitney (a subsidiary of the group United Technologies) as a result of a series of problems in the manufacturing process.

The european Agency of air security (EASA) published Friday a directive of emergency, imposing restrictions on the use of several devices in the family A320neo aircraft recently delivered.

The problem is with engines that have all the same serial number. It has been detected at the level of the rear hub of the rotor of the high pressure compressor of such turbojet engines, turbosoufflantes geared (‘Geared turbofan’, GTF).

One of the sources indicated that the problem had been detected 10 days ago.

Are not affected airplanes equipped with engines supplied by CFM International – a joint venture between General Electric (NYSE:GE) and Safran (PA:SAF) -, the other the engine of the A320neo, aircraft to be sold to Airbus.


The restrictions relate to the aircraft equipped with two engines from this series of manufacturing, which has the consequence of nailing these aircraft on the ground.

The company indian IndiGo (owned by InterGlobe Aviation), it was reported that three aircraft to its fleet remained on the ground. The regulator of indian civil aviation has indicated that the competing company GoAir was not affected.

In total, 15 to 20 aircraft, recently delivered are nailed to the ground, according to the sources interviewed by Reuters.

The directive of the EASA will also mean that companies can no longer use the A320neo aircraft on long-haul flights or to fly over desert areas, or seas, once one of their motors comes from the series suspect.

Airbus has indicated that there were 113 A320neo aircraft equipped with engines Pratt & Whitney in service with 18 clients. The group is in the midst of an acceleration of its pace of production and said last week that it could still increase.

A prolonged delay due to new engine problems could affect financially for Airbus.

“It is too early to determine the financial implications, but the fact is that a limited number of engines are concerned, and it is a factor potentially moderating,” said analyst Matthew McConnell, of RBC Capital Markets, before it is to suspend some deliveries.

“However, this is based on the question of the problems of manufacture of the GTF engine,” he added.

(Tim Hepher, Dominique Rodriguez for the French service)

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