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Airlines Scramble for Spare Parts Amid P&W Engine Recall

Jun 13, 2023

Airlines are scrambling to find spare parts due to an engine recall which threatens to cancel flights, the Financial Times first reported.

JetBlue, Spirit Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, and Wizz Air are among the fleets which will be affected, and they've been updating investors on how they plan to deal with the disruption.

Pratt & Whitney announced last month that 1,200 of its engines would need to be removed from Airbus A320neo jets for "enhanced inspection."

It said a "rare condition" had contaminated the powder metal, which could cause cracks to form on critical engine parts.

200 of the inspections should take place by mid-September, and the other 1,000 will happen in the next nine-to-twelve months, RTX's chief operating officer said.

Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue's president and chief operating officer, said in the company's Q2 earnings call that it was trying to lease additional engines to avoid disruption.

The company's chief financial officer said a "handful of engines" will have to be removed by mid-September.

Peter Ingram, the CEO of Hawaiian Airlines, told investors it had "spare support" from engines returning from the shop, or spares "supplied by Pratt & Whitney to support the operating carriers."

A Hawaiian Airlines spokesperson told Insider that it will pause its Lihue-Oakland service from September 6 to December 14, with three others to be suspended for one day a week until January 8.

They added that five of its P&W engines "have been identified for the accelerated inspections."

"We sincerely apologize to our impacted guests for the inconvenience and are working with them on alternative travel options," the spokesperson said.

A Wizz Air presentation to investors noted that 12 of its engines will be "initially affected" although it doesn't expect a reduction to profits. But Wizz is considering temporarily scrapping some routes, the FT reported.

When contacted for comment, Wizz Air directed Insider to a section of its 2023 annual report detailing the composition of its fleet, which comprises 179 aircraft.

And Spirit Airlines warned that its Q4 revenue would suffer as it would have to ground seven aircraft, adding that it will be overstaffed as a result, Reuters reported.

Inspecting and fixing the engines could take up to 60 days each, Reuters reported. RTX has promised to compensate airlines affected by the engine issues, per the FT.

An Airbus spokesperson previously told Insider the company is working with its customers and Pratt & Whitney to minimize the disruption and implement the required inspection plans.

Spirit and JetBlue did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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