Dubai: Turkish Airlines is seeking leased engines and support from Raytheon Technologies Corp.’s Pratt & Whitney unit to repair its grounded Airbus SE A320neo aircraft ahead of the peak summer travel season, as more airlines grapple with defects on their powerplants ahead of the busiest travel season.
Turkish Airlines faces “technical problems” with its Pratt GTF engines and has been forced to ground four planes, CEO Bilal Ekşi said in an interview at the CAPA India Aviation Summit in New Delhi last week. Long turnaround times during workshop visits and a shortage of serviceable engines are aggrevating the issue, he said.
“We are talking with Pratt & Whitney very seriously on this matter,” Ekşi said. The carrier is trying to limit the grounding to the four jets and if that is achieved this summer, “we will be very lucky,” he said.
Separately, Air Baltic Corp AS CEO Martin Gauss said that Pratt “could not keep the given promise again” on improved turnaround times, and it was forced to lease additional capacity starting this week in order to operate its schedule. It had previously said that a quarter of its 40 Airbus A220 jets were out of service, which had already forced it to lease jets with crews this summer.
Pratt didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Carriers around the world are dealing with a shortage of engines and spare parts, especially on their latest generation workhorse narrowbody jets, which could be a major setback to the revival in air travel, Bloomberg News reported earlier this month. IndiGo, India’s biggest airline, is seeking compensation from engine makers for some 30 grounded planes, while in the US, budget carrier Spirit Airlines warned it would scale back growth plans due in part to a spate of malfunctioning turbines.
Turkish Airlines is in discussions with Pratt for support as it looks for leased engines to continue uninterrupted services, Ekşi said. The airline operated a fleet of 394 Airbus and Boeing Co. aircraft as of last year.