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01:00 PM, October 16, 2019
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P&W Engines Passes Tests, Grounded Swiss Airbus 220s to Resume Operations

Swiss airlines on Wednesday stated its fleet of Airbus A220 jets, grounded following problems with Pratt & Whitney engines, would resume operations on October 17.

On Tuesday morning, a flight from Geneva to London Heathrow was rerouted to Paris due to engine issues, following which Switzerland’s national airlines suspended operations of the aircraft. French air crash investigators had classified the problem as a “serious incident,” adding that investigations would be carried out by US National Transportation Safety Board.

"SWISS takes these incidents very seriously and continues to maintain close contact with the responsible authorities, Airbus Canada & Pratt&Whitney. The safety of our customers and crews is our top priority. We deeply regret the inconveniences caused to our passengers," Switzerland's national airlines tweeted on Wednesday.

"After a comprehensive engine inspection the first C Series have already returned into service in perfect condition. Based on the current planning the flight operations can be resumed on Thursday in a largely regular manner," the airlines said.

 

P&W Engines Passes Tests, Grounded Swiss Airbus 220s to Resume Operations
Pratt & Whitney PW1500G engine used in Airbus A220 jet

A July 25 Swiss flight from Geneva to London experienced engine failure after part of the turbine disintegrated over Paris, while one from Zurich to Dusseldorf had to turn around earlier the same month because of a turbine problem.

In 2014, the same P&W’s geared turbofan engine reportedly caught fire during testing of the A220 carbon-fiber jet.

In September, US Federal Aviation Administration ordered inspections in the engine’s low-pressure compressor rotor in A220s and some Embraer jets.

P&W Engines Passes Tests, Grounded Swiss Airbus 220s to Resume Operations

Swiss is the world’s biggest operator of the Airbus A220 (previously known as Bombardier C Series), with 29 jets. The twin-jet is powered by PW1500G engines. A similar engine for the larger Airbus A320neo family, was not affected.

The engine maker is reportedly recommending additional checks for a different version of the same engine that powers Brazil’s Embraer SA E195-E2, delivered to Azul and AerCap airlines last month. Airbus has delivered 90 A220s to customers including Air Baltic, Delta Air Lines and Korean Air Lines.

“P&W and our airframe OEMs (manufacturers), working in coordination with the regulatory authorities, have recommended additional inspections of the low-pressure compressor for PW1500G and PW1900G engines to keep the fleet operational,” a spokesman said.

PW1900G engines are used in Airbus’ larger E2 aircraft.

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