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Air Tanzania & Air Senegal Team Up To Take Action Over Airbus A220 Groundings

SimpleFlying 3/21/2023 Tatenda Karuwa
© Provided by SimpleFlying

Air Tanzania and Air Senegal are collaborating to mitigate the challenges faced due to the grounding of their Airbus A220-300 aircraft.

Several of their A220-300s have been grounded since November due to technical issues with the Pratt & Whitney engines. The Airbus aircraft is powered by PW1524G-3 engines, whose defects have affected all airlines operating similar models.

The two airlines grounded the planes without a target date set for which they would return to service. This has resulted in significant losses and disruption of operations, so the flag carriers are considering joint action against the engine manufacturers.

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The joint efforts of two African airlines

For the past five months, both national carriers have tried to find solutions to mitigate damages and losses separately. Since this has not produced any positive results, they are considering joint efforts to find the most effective way forward.

An Air Senegal delegation was in Dar es Salaam last week for a meeting with Air Tanzania officials to find the best way to tackle the persistent engine problems. The two African airlines believe the engine manufacturer is prolonging a resolution, affecting their daily operations. We contacted Pratt & Whitney and will update this article with a comment.

According to Air Tanzania CEO Ladislaus Matindi, Airbus A220-300 aircraft problems have been discovered by all airlines operating the model, including Egyptair in Africa. As reported by The East African, Matindi said in a statement;

“The PW1524G-3 engines made by Pratt & Whitney for A220-300 planes are supposed to be removed for maintenance after 5,260 landings, but due to engine design defects, they are removed before even 1,000 landings."

All stakeholders are working together to find the perfect solutions to get the planes back in service. We reached out to Airbus, who are supporting the engine manufacturers. An Airbus representative said to Simple Flying;

"We are supporting Pratt & Whitney in managing continued operations with our customers, as they are providing mitigation strategies in order to ensure the required support to airlines"

The way forward together

The defects on the PW engines have affected fleets around the world, with the smaller airlines being the hardest hit. The minimal possibility of substituting the aircraft type and unscheduled maintenance has significantly affected flight schedules, route networks, and overall turnaround time.

Apart from the defects, challenges also include a lack of alternative engines and the fuselage developing rust much sooner than stated in the aircraft's Maintenance Planning Document, thus increasing maintenance and repair costs.

The airlines are engaging with Pratt & Whitney to find a way to get the planes back in the skies once and for all. The negotiations also involve compensation for the losses incurred so far, although the amount was not specified. Ladislaus Matindi added;

“We have been engaged in amicable negotiations with the company to fix the serious engine problems so that the planes can resume normal flight operations. But if amicable negotiations fail, we could resort to legal action."

The Senegalese and Tanzanian airlines intend to take the American engine supplier to task, citing failure to fulfill its contractual responsibility. They stated that the manufacturer is responsible for supplying different engines in the event of engine failure.

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Source: The East African

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