SWISS Grounds Airbus A220 Fleet

SWISS has today, October 15, decided to ground it’s entire Pratt & Whitney-powered Airbus A220 fleet. The aircraft will be grounded until all engines have been checked to ensure they are safe to fly. As a result, the airline has had to cancel many of its short-haul flights. The grounding follows an incident that caused a flight from LHR-GVA to be diverted to CDG this morning.

A220 Grounded by SWISS After Multiple Incidents

Earlier this morning, a SWISS Airbus A220-300 flying from London Heathrow to Geneva had to divert to Paris Charles de Gaulle due to an engine issue. Following the diversion, the Lufthansa Group airline decided to ground its fleet of A220s, formerly known as the Bombardier CSeries. This is just the latest of multiple incidents encountered by SWISS-operated A220s. In July, an A220-300 operating a flight from Geneva to London had to divert to Paris after part of one of it’s Pratt & Whitney PW1500G engines disintegrated mid-flight. Also, on September 16th, another A220 was forced to return to Geneva following engine troubles.

EgyptAir is the latest airline to receive the Airbus A220.
Video: Airbus

Additional Engine Checks Recommended

Pratt & Whitney has said that it had advised operators of Airbus A220 and some Embraer E2 jets to conduct additional checks on its geared turbofan engines. A Pratt & Whitney spokesperson said:

“Pratt & Whitney and our airframe OEMs (manufacturers), working in coordination with the regulatory authorities, have recommended additional inspections of the low-pressure compressor for PW1500G and PW1900G engines to keep the fleet operational. The engines continue to meet all criteria for continued airworthiness.”

Flights Cancelled

Following the A220 grounding, SWISS has had to cancel a large number of flights. As of 18:30 CEST, the airline has canceled 55 flights over the next two days. A list of affected flights, as well as information for affected customers, is available on the SWISS website.

Pratt & Whitney PW1000G

The engine that has caused the SWISS A220 grounding is the Pratt & Whitney PW1500G, a variant of the PW1000G family of high-bypass geared turbofan engines. PW1000G-family engines are used to power a number of new-generation aircraft:

  • The PW1100G is an option for Airbus A320neo-family aircraft.
  • The Mitsubishi MRJ90/MRJ100 will be powered by PW1200G engines.
  • The PW1400G will be an option for the upcoming Irkut MC-21 twinjet.
  • The PW1500G is the exclusive powerplant of the A220.
  • PW1700G engines will power the Embraer E175-E2.
  • Embraer E190-E2 & E195-E2 are powered by PW1900G engines.

Featured Image Source: Steve Lynes on Flickr.

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