DBEA55AED16C0C92252A6554BC1553B2 Clicky DBEA55AED16C0C92252A6554BC1553B2 Clicky
June 16, 2024
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Here’s an interesting perspective as the industry hammers away at Pratt & Whitney about GTF issues.  There have been problems with the GTF for some time. The largest GTF user in Europe is the Lufthansa Group. Moreover, the group accesses a Tier 1 MRO with its in-house Lufthansa Technik.  Lufthansa Group operates both the GTF and LEAP – how do they compare?

As we prepare to share insight on the LEAP vs. GTF, let us introduce AvBench.  AvBench is a startup aviation analysis firm based in Montreal. The team consists of industry veterans from Bombardier.  AvBench has a tool enabling users to evaluate an airline or an aircraft in context.  Whereas typical analysis tools give you data and let you draw your own conclusions, AvBench provides users with a ranking system from zero (poor) to 10 (best).  AvBench’s ranking is based on 30+ algorithms from multiple databases.  In our view, it is thorough and provides a user with quick reporting.

AvBench provides an excellent way to check this question of GTF issues and allows a LEAP comparison by looking at their “Aircraft utilization” index in the Aircraft/Airline Fit menu, which considers several things: the annual number of scheduled cycles adjusted based on the stage length, number & percentage of the fleet parked and/or early retired (more than six months on the ground). This will be specific to an airline.

To compare CFM vs. GTF, ideally, you want to look at airlines flying both engines to eliminate all reasons linked to the airline itself.  You can select Lufthansa, IndiGo, Frontier, China Southern, Air China, or TAP Portugal, flying A321neo or A320neo with both engines.

Using AvBench analysis, we see the chart below.  Notice that Majors with strong MRO support don’t see a difference between the two engines, but LCCs such as IndiGo and Frontier do.

AvBench Model

When we select A220-300 operators, we see that EgyptAir, airBaltic, and Air Tanzania are struggling with their GTF engines — the same at KLM with their E2s.  KLM has access to the excellent resources of Air France Industrie, so the low utilization here is odd.  The same is true at some CFM operators when you select MAX8s: Aerolineas, Batik, Icelandair, China Southern, and Hainan have low aircraft utilization.

Focusing on the GTF specifically, look at the A220-300 and E195-E2 below.  A rating of 5 or higher is acceptable.  A rating of below 4 is a problem.  Air France is at four and has a small fleet, while Breeze and ITA are also settling in small fleets. The bottom three are clearly problem areas.  The Air France/KLM fleet of GTF-powered aircraft generates questions. Eurowings is part of the Lufthansa Group and benefits from Technik’s expertise.  Similarly, Delta’s A220 fleet is watched over by TechOps, which happens to be a GTF service center.

AvBench Model

AvBench’s tool provides useful insight.  Not every low utilization situation is linked to engine issues. The index looks at fleet utilization and aircraft on the ground. Still, airlines with significant MRO support are doing better than those without.

author avatar
Addison Schonland
Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

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