Air Senegal is reportedly cancelling the lease of five Airbus A220 planes from Macquarie AirFinance due to a delay in delivery of two planes scheduled to arrive last December, according to the Italia Vola website.
The delay was caused by issues related to the availability of Pratt & Whitney PW1000G engines and new maintenance intervals set by the manufacturer.
The airline had signed a memorandum of understanding in 2019 to incorporate up to eight A220-300s, and in 2021 confirmed a lease agreement for five units that were part of Macquarie AirFinance’s order book for 29 airplanes.
The new planes were intended to connect Dakar to destinations in West Africa and Europe due to their long range, but Air Senegal has only received one A220-300 so far.
According to statements to Italia Vola by Eric Iba Gueye, the airline’s CCO, has stated that the delay has caused operational problems, as three other aircraft in the fleet underwent mandatory maintenance overhauls in January.
Air Senegal is reportedly looking for a replacement for the A220-300, but potential replacements such as the Airbus A320neo or the Embraer E-195 E2, use the same powerplant, which could present similar issues.
The A320neo, which uses CFM International’s Leap 1-A engines, could be an option, as the carrier has a long-standing relationship with the European manufacturer, Airbus. However, the A320neo is a higher-capacity model that would require a corresponding demand, and Air Senegal had already selected a two-class interior configuration and a total of 133 seats, a lower density than other A220-300 operators have chosen.