Airlines that have ordered the recently troubled Airbus A320neo are now preparing for delivery delays and are ready to seek compensation. The number of A320neo aircraft delivered is being disrupted by delays at engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney. Earlier in September, the company cut this year’s delivery target from 200 to 150, saying they were unable to produce certain parts fast enough.
AerCap holdings, a leasing and aviation finance company who’ve ordered more than 220 of the aircraft, said that their deliveries have been affected by the situation. “There’s a lot of uncertainty around the exact timetable for deliveries at the moment particularly those that are powered by the geared turbofan,” AerCap Chief Executive Officer Aengus Kelly said. The company has only taken delivery of two of the 16 A320neos which were planned to be delivered in the fourth quarter of this year.
“We are working closely with our customer to resolve the issue and minimize any impact to their operations,” the manufacturer of the troubled engines said in an e-mailed statement. The A320neo is also powered by engines made by CFM International, which so far hasn’t had any issues with its new engines.
IndiGo, India’s largest airline by passengers, is now planning on having 20 A320neos in its fleet by the end of March, compared to the earlier expected amount of 24. The airline will rely on leased aircraft to avoid any impact due to the current situation.
Indigo, which is currently Airbus’s biggest customer for the A320neo jets with orders for 430 of the type. received its first March. The airline currently has a contract with Pratt&Whitney for the engines of the first 150 of the aircraft but is closely following the performance of the rival CFM engines.
Airbus has had “to allocate those engines as a scarce resource. Who those engines go to is a matter of debate and argument,” Plueger said. “Every airline and every lessor is saying, ‘We want ours first.’”