Airbus A220 regional jets have been causing problems for African airlines, with Air Senegal, Air Tanzania, and EgyptAir all experiencing issues with the Pratt & Whitney PW1524G-3 engines.
As a result, Air Senegal is reportedly planning to take legal action against engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney for failing to meet its contractual obligation to supply additional engines in the event of engine failures. The airline also wants compensation for the losses it has suffered from not being able to use the A220. Air Senegal originally planned to operate five of the A220s, but due to the engine problems, only one of the aircraft is currently parked, with the rest delayed.
Air Tanzania, which is also having problems with its Airbus A220s, recently met with Air Senegal officials to discuss their shared difficulties. The country’s national airline is currently flying only one out of its four A220s in the fleet due to scarce spare parts and repair slots. Additionally, seven out of twelve Airbus A220s from EgyptAir are currently grounded due to the same engine issues.
The Pratt & Whitney PW1524G-3 engines for the A220-300 were designed to be removed for maintenance after 5,260 landings. However, due to design flaws, the engines have to be removed before 1,000 landings, according to Air Tanzania boss Ladislaus Matindi. Both airlines accuse Pratt & Whitney of delaying a solution to the problems.
In response to the accusations, Pratt & Whitney released a statement, saying, “Engine availability is under pressure across the industry, particularly due to the availability of hardware for engine upgrades and overhauls. We have developed a number of strategies to counteract these problems.” The engine manufacturer has developed various updates for the hardware and software, and is supporting suppliers wherever possible to achieve a longer operating time between maintenance.