Several US-based airlines are reportedly working hard to avoid flight cancellations after Pratt & Whitney announced a massive recall of some 1,200 jet engines.
JetBlue, Spirit, and Hawaiian are among the companies that are shifting ground crew and changing flight schedules after last month’s announcement by P&W that it was removing the Geared Turbofan (GTF) engines that were found to be tainted with microscopic contaminants in a metal piece of its core.
The contamination is said to pose a danger that could cause cracks in certain parts of the engine, according to the company.
The GTF engine, which is said to be used by dozens of foreign and domestic airlines, is one of two that can be fitted to the Airbus A320neo, which is the top-selling aircraft in the world.
European carrier Wizz Air and India’s Go First are among the carriers that have had to ground aircraft as a result of the engine recall.
Spirit, the seventh-largest domestic airline in the US, told investors earlier this month that the recall will leave the company with fewer aircraft to fly as well as an over-staffing problem which will impact operations in the fourth quarter and early next year, according to the Financial Times.
JetBlue COO Joanna Geraghty, who helps run the country’s sixth largest domestic carrier, told investors earlier this month that the firm would look to lease engines in hopes of minimizing the damage.
“We are trying to take whatever self-help measures are available,” she said.
“But as you know, the supply is pretty constrained.”
Hawaiian Airlines warned it might have to adjust its capacity, but said recently that it was too early to assess the impact.
The carrier said last month that the impact would depend on availability of the parts that require replacement.
The limited availability of replacements for these engines had already limited Hawaiian’s ability to make full use of its Airbus fleet. It had grounded some planes due to lack of engines.
P&W is a subsidiary of RTX, the aerospace and defense contractor formerly known as Raytheon Technologies Corporation.
RTX CEO Greg Hayes told investors on an earnings call last month that the company plans to compensation airlines, though he downplayed the recall as “not an existential threat” to his company or its subsidiary.
Nonetheless, Hayes acknowledged that the snafu involving the engines “will be expensive.”
Shares of RTX were trading down by more than 0.5% on Wall Street on Monday.
The Post has sought comment from P&W, JetBlue, Hawaiian, and Spirit.
The air travel industry has already been beset by turmoil in recent months.
Bad weather, staffing shortages, and technical glitches led to massive disruptions, flight delays, and cancellations over the Fourth of July as well as the Christmas holiday periods.
Some are leaning on bigger planes that can accommodate more passengers to get around operational challenges.
With Post wires