DALLAS — Vietnam Airlines (VN) has decided to ground 12 Airbus A321neo family aircraft due to Pratt & Whitney engine problems. This grounding will impact nearly 20% of the airline’s domestic fleet, potentially causing significant flight cancellations and disruptions for passengers traveling within Vietnam.

The issue stems from a rare condition discovered in July 2023 that affects the powder metal used in certain parts of the Pratt & Whitney PW1100GTF engines powering these Airbus aircraft. This problem is not unique to VN, as airlines around the world have been grappling with the same engine issue.

Vietnam Airlines Airbus A350. Photo: Vietnam Airlines
Vietnam Airlines Airbus A350. Photo: Vietnam Airlines

Impact on Passengers, Domestic Market

The extended maintenance required to address this problem is further delayed by ongoing supply chain disruptions, leading to a lengthy grounding period of up to 300 days for the affected planes, as reported by VNExpress. This situation could lead to flight cancellations and schedule adjustments, impacting domestic travel plans.

Passengers flying domestically with VN are advised to stay informed about potential flight changes and disruptions by checking the airline’s website or contacting customer service. The grounding also has broader implications for the domestic aviation market in Vietnam as the reduced capacity caused by this grounding has led to increased airfares and potentially impacted other airlines operating similar routes.

The airline’s CEO, Le Hong Ha stated that the engine problems have also impacted its Airbus A350 aircraft. The recent rise in domestic airfares is partly attributed to the aircraft shortage caused by the grounding.

RTX Corporation, which owns Pratt & Whitney, has projected that the scheduled engine inspections, possibly lasting up to 60 days each, will occur between 2023 and 2026, as reported by Aerotime. Vietnam Airlines is likely to implement adjustments to its domestic flight schedule to minimize the impact on passengers.

Feature Image: Vietnam Airlines Airbus A321neo. Photo: Airbus

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Article source: https://airwaysmag.com/vietnam-airlines-to-ground-a321neos/

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