Airbus says some A320neos grounded by Pratt engine issue

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Several new engine failures involving the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engine will cause a "limited number" of Airbus A320neo family aircraft to stop flying until they are fitted with spares, European aviation safety regulators and Airbus say.

"This problem is isolated and limited", assured Pratt & Whitney, a subsidiary of the USA industrial conglomerate United Technologies.

In total, the grounding affects 15 to 20 recently delivered aircraft, the sources familiar with the matter said.

The setback comes weeks after Airbus said it was overcoming a two-year sequence of problems on fuel-saving engines developed by Pratt & Whitney, one of two engine suppliers for its best-selling A320neo. "We are working with the engine manufacturer to replace the affected engines and to understand the longer-term implications of this situation".

EASA has ordered operators to ground aircraft within three flight cycles if both engines have the aft hub modification.

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The Pratt & Whitney engines are installed in about 113 Airbus planes across 18 airlines - the majority of which are in India and Europe, a Pratt & Whitney spokesperson told CNNMoney.

"Although we have not experienced any related issues with our engines, we immediately removed the plane from service", the airline said in a statement. "But we feel it was the best decision in the interest of our safe and reliable operations", IndiGo said in a statement.

Airbus also uses LEAP engines co-produced by General Electric and Safran on the planes.

This is the second problem affecting Pratt & Whitney GTF engines since the start of their marketing, the first causing delays in 2017 in delivery of the A320neo, the re-engined version of Airbus' single-aisle plane. "In full and complete compliance with the requirements, none of GoAir aircraft have two of these engines on the same aircraft", it said, adding that no aircraft is required to be grounded. On certain days, the airline had seen as many as nine of its aircraft grounded due to unavailability of spare engines leading to flight disruptions.

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