Spirit Sheds A320neo Deliveries in 2018 after Engine Issues

Top Quote In addition to a number of airlines which are known to have adjusted deliveries, with respect to the Airbus A320neos offered by Pratt & Whitney, Spirit Airlines also issued a statement suggesting that it will not take any of the geared turbofan engines in the year 2018. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) June 16, 2017 - Known to be an extremely low-cost carrier, the airline suggested that it has pushed the delivery of the two A320neos in 2018 to A320neos. The Chief Financial Officer of the airline, Ted Christie said that the aircraft is slated for delivery in the last quarter of 2017. He added, that while the airline was disappointed and even frustrated with the current issues with the P&W GTF machines, it believes that the problems will soon be rectified. He also added that the move was made in order to de-risk the delivery stream. As of now, Spirit Airlines owns as many as five A320neos but has chosen to park three of them due to the carbon air-seal issues, similar to those faced by other operators. Christie also added that the engines have. For the time being, been installed with an interim fix which will help extend their on-wing lifespan. However, it remained unclear if all the A320neos of the airline returned to service or not.

    In addition, a P&W spokesperson divulged that the manufacturer will still continue to work with Spirit Airlines, as well as other operators. P&W has plans to put somewhere around 350 to 400 engines on production line this year, the spokesperson added.
    UTC, the parent company for P&W agreed to the fact that it will come up with an improvement package to address the ongoing carbon air-seal issue. According to the Chief Executive, Greg Hayes, 25% of the engines have already undergone the installation of the new fix and the rest of the engines will be retrofitted within a month’s time.

    As per what Christie said regarding the talks between Spirit Airlines and P&W regarding the delays, it can easily be speculated that some kind of compensation might be deliberated upon. He was quoted saying, "We are in discussions with Pratt and Airbus to reach an agreement that provides us with the consideration we need and that supports the [A320]neo fleet in the short and long term”.

    Before Spirit Airlines, it was JetBlue Airways which switched 3 of the A321neos in 2018 to A321ceos in late April, while Mexico's Volaris also indicated a drop in the delivery of A320neo family aircraft for the year.

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