As if commercial airline travel wasn’t frustrating enough already, RTX, the Virginia-based aerospace company, announced yesterday that it may get worse for many. RTX is the parent company of Connecticut-based engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney.
RTX announced in August that it was issuing a Special Instruction to operators of PW GTF 1100 engines requiring accelerated inspections due to powder metal contamination that makes certain components in the turbofan section more susceptible to corrosion and cracking. The initial inspection list was estimated to include about 1200 engines. Yesterday’s update sets the number at 600 – 700. The issue is estimated to cost RTX around $3 billion in this quarter alone.
While the contamination issue is a tough financial lesson for RTX and Pratt & Whitney, it will also create headaches for travelers. The engines are primarily used on Airbus A320neo aircraft, which are operated by about 50 airlines worldwide, including American, Delta, Frontier and Spirit. RTX estimates that about 350 aircraft will have to be grounded for about 30 days, while the inspections are completed between now and 2026.
The grounding of 350 commercial aircraft will no doubt cause disruptions in the form of cancelled flights, limited routes, and limited schedules. RTX claims that most of the inspections will be completed by the end of 2024, so the next year may be a frustrating one for commercial airline travel.
You can click here for a link to the most recent RTX announcement.
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