News just out from Reuters indicates that the problems with the Pratt & Whitney engines used on the entire Hawaiian Airlines A321neo fleet may have just ratcheted up tremendously. We hope that isn’t the case, but what was just stated and what it did to RTX, Pratt & Whitney’s parent company’s stock, is telltale.
The stock in RTX corp just hit a multi-year low as the company announced that instead of taking 60 days to inspect the geared turbofan engines, it may instead take up to 300 days per engine. That is five times longer than expected. In addition, the company said it is taking a $3 billion charge as a result of this. Reuters said that RTX just “told airlines hundreds of their Airbus jets would be grounded at any one time in coming years to check for a rare manufacturing flaw.”
This comes after Hawaiian Airlines had already announced a required reduction in flights on their 5-year old A321neo fleet in order to comply with the engine recall. The issue is that some engine components are at risk of cracking due to a rare powder metal defect. At the original announcement, RTX called for accelerated inspections that impacted only 200 engines within a sixty day window. The rest of the planes with engines in question were to be inspected within approximately one year.
Today’s announcement, however, indicates that very lengthy inspections will be required on a total of 600-700 engines across all airlines.
When the issue was first revealed, RTX said that the Pratt & Whitney engine repairs would take on average 60 days. Today, however, with the greatly extended time frame, the company said that across all airlines, “an average of 350 jets could be grounded per year through 2026, with as many as 650 jets sitting idle in the first half of 2024.”
The issues impact the engines found on the Hawaiian Airlines’ and Delta Air Lines’ narrow-body A321neo fleets. RTX said today that the massive problems on its engines “will have a significant impact on our customers.”
Reuters reported that, according to Jefferies , Hawaiian (in addition to Spirit and JetBlue) “have the largest exposure to the GTF problem.
Beat of Hawaii reached out to Hawaiian Airlines when we learned of today’s development, but as of the time of publishing, have not heard back.
Back in July when the Pratt & Whitney problem first hit Hawaiian Air.
At that time, Hawaiian Airlines confirmed flights had to be temporarily chopped, on three routes. Hawaii told us that it was making more network adjustments as a result of Pratt & Whitney’s recent announcement that some Airbus A321neo engines will require additional inspections in coming months. Here’s what Hawaiian did then:
Paused Lihue-Oakland service from Sept. 6 through Dec. 14.
Suspended, from Sept. 9 through Jan. 8, Honolulu to San Jose on Saturdays, and San Jose to Honolulu on Mondays, as well as service between Kahului and San Jose on Sundays.
Hawaiian also stopped its Kahului-Las Vegas flight through August 31 in anticipation of the upcoming Pratt & Whitney engine checks that would require some aircraft to be out of service.
Hawaiian told us at the time: “We sincerely apologize to our impacted guests for the inconvenience and are working with them on alternative travel options.” — Alex Da Silva, Hawaiian Airlines.
Still unfolding Hawaiian Airlines A321neo fleet engine recall.
In July Hawaiian was told at the very last minute prior to its own earnings call by Pratt & Whitney that some of their Airbus A321neo engines would need to be removed and returned for inspection and possible repair. The very next day, Hawaiian proactively started making schedule announcements.
Here’s what we said about the situation previously:
The extent of the required schedule changes may be more significant than the current announcement suggests. Hawaiian Airlines has not yet determined the number of aircraft that will need to be taken offline for the estimated two-month duration required for the recall work. This work involves the removal, inspection, repair, and reinstallation of the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G jet engines in question. Furthermore, they are uncertain about how many of the 18 planes in their fleet will require this urgent service and where the work will be performed.Beat of Hawaii
As the situation continues to evolve and when we hear from Hawaiian Airlines, Beat of Hawaii will offer further updates. Let us know if you have any questions.