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44 Airbus A321neos subject to engine inspection in Vietnam

44 Airbus A321neos subject to engine inspection in Vietnam

Thursday, February 01, 2024, 15:14 GMT+7
44 Airbus A321neos subject to engine inspection in Vietnam
A Pratt & Whitney aircraft engine is seen in this illustration image. Photo: Bloomberg

Forty-four Airbus A321neos operated by two Vietnamese airlines will have their engines inspected following an urgent notice from the engine manufacturer, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has announced.

CAAV director Dinh Viet Thang on Wednesday released a directive in compliance with a recent Emergency Alert Service Bulletin (EASB) from the U.S.-based Pratt & Whitney, the manufacturer of PW1100G engines for Airbus A321neo aircraft.

Thang requested that national carrier Vietnam Airlines (VNA) and Vietnam’s budget airline Vietjet, which are respectively using 20 and 24 Airbus planes of this type, to immediately implement all the instructions included in the EASB and its subsequent updated versions.

These two carriers are required to report the results of preparations for implementation of the EASB to the CAAV before February 15.

The EASB, issued on November 3, 2023, has been applied from January 1, 2024 to promptly detect unusual failures from the engine production process, the CAAV said.

Accordingly, the parts of a PW1100G engine that may need to be checked and replaced are the high-pressure compressor disc and high-pressure turbine disc.

The engines will be initially detached from the aircraft and subsequently disassembled into components for thorough laser inspections to identify any errors.

If any issues are detected, they will be addressed during the repair process before the engine is reassembled and securely reinstalled back into the plane.

The inspection process for each engine will take 250-300 days, according to the CAAV.

Given that an Airbus A321neo is equipped with two engines, a total of 88 engines will undergo inspection as part of this process.

As per Pratt & Whitney’s instructions, aircraft of this type will take turns to undergo such an inspection when they reach a specific number of flight hours in 2024, the CAAV announced.

Consequently, over 20 Airbus A321neos from both Vietjet and VNA are scheduled to be temporarily grounded for engine inspections in July of this year.

This is anticipated to result in a potential shortage of available aircraft for passenger transport, particularly during the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) festival, which is set to occur on February 10, as reported by the agency.

In anticipation of the impending situation, VNA engaged in negotiations with aircraft lenders in late 2023 to secure the temporary loan of planes as replacements for those slated for cessation due to the engine inspection, Le Hong Ha, general director of the carrier, said during a recent general meeting of the company's shareholders.

Regarding the potential impact of the anticipated shortage of planes on airfares in the coming months, a representative from an airline stated that any price increase, if implemented, would be subject to strict regulations to ensure that airfares do not surpass the prescribed ceiling rates, news site VietNamNet reported.

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Vinh Tho - Tuan Phung / Tuoi Tre News

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