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April 19, 2024
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Indian low-cost airline Go First plans to sue Pratt & Whitney’s parent company Raytheon Technologies over compensation for financial damages it suffers from the continuous grounding and repairs of the Geared Turbofan engines on its Airbus A320neo fleet. Go First considers suing P&W over GTF issues

According to a report in The Economic Times, P&W is unwilling to compensate Go First, although the carrier claims to have a contract for maintenance and repairs that includes compensation. The airline, which is owned by Wadia Group, says it is suffering significantly from the constant issues with the GTFs. It fears that the continued grounding of aircraft could derail the upcoming summer season.

Go First, which used to be called Go Air, has been one of the first operators of the GTF PW1100G-JM when the A320neo entered service with the airline in 2016. It currently has a fleet of 56 aircraft, with 88 more on order from Airbus.

As reported before on AirInsight, Go First and IndiGo suffered multiple in-flight shutdowns of their A320neo’s in 2016 and 2017. The root cause was found to be clogging inside the combustor chamber, where tiny holes were clogged and corrosion was found on parts that had got an inadequate coating. The humid climate and polluted air in India were contributing to the issues.

P&W had produced numerous updates and redesigns of the GTF since 2018, but still isn’t on top of all the problems that span the entire GTF engine family for the Airbus A220, A320neo-family, and Embraer E2-series. Many airlines have reported grounded aircraft because it takes many months before engines are returned from the repair shops. Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes said recently that while staffing issues are expected to have been overcome by the end of this year, it will take some five years to get the reliability of the GTF to that of the V2500 engine that powers the A320ceo family.

The Economic Times is quoting someone from Go First, who says: “Over the past two years, all the engines had to be removed from the wing before an average of 7.000 hours, which is way lower than the projected life of 12.000 hours. Problems have repeatedly surfaced, which has resulted in unscheduled removal of engines, leading to severe disruption in operations and business.” Some aircraft have been grounded for seven months.

Why P&W is apparently refusing to compensate Go First is not known. Other airlines have been or are being compensated for engine repairs and some reportedly even for lost revenues. For example, IndiGo, which has suffered identical issues with its GTF engines, has received financial compensation a few years ago.

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Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
Richard is contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He also writes for Airliner World, Aviation News, Piloot & Vliegtuig, and Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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