The Indian low-cost carrier Go First is considering action against Pratt & Whitney over engine issues which has forced the airline to ground a large number of aircraft in its fleet.
The concern is that Go First is possibly set to lose on out on passengers in third consecutive peak season; AviationSource writer Gaurav Gowda reports.
While every other airline is ramping up its operations and maximizing its fleet utilization, Go First is struggling to keep a large proportion of its fleet serviceable and several aircraft in service are reportedly facing frequent issues due to the related engine problems.
In 2019, Go First had signed a deal with Pratt & Whitney to provide the PW-1100G geared Turbofan (GTF) engines for their 72 A320neo’s.
It is important to note that this deal came along with a comprehensive service agreement which mandated compensations from the engine manufacturer if any maintenance issue arises resulting in loss of business to the buyer.
Go First is reportedly considering action against Raytheon Technologies, alleging that when the airline demanded compensation the manufactured declined their request which resulted in violation of the contract.
Supply chain issues have added to the woes of Pratt & Whitney, and Go First has already scaled down its ops even though the summer peak season is right around the corner.
With roughly about 90 percent of their fleet equipped with Pratt & Whitney engines, the follow-on effect has forced the airline to operate 27 percent fewer flights in March 2023 in comparison to March 2022.
This was a time when airlines were still ramping up its operations to return to pre-Covid level.
Over the last two years, all the engines had to be removed from the wing before an average of 7000 hours, which is way lower than projected life of 12,000 hours.
Problems have repeatedly surfaced which have resulted in unscheduled removal of engines leading to severe disruption in operation and business, till March 2020, P&W provided spare engines on time, repaired without cost, and provided some compensation.
However, the airline has not received anything after that. Some of Go First aircraft are parked for more than seven months and are developing snags within two months after maintenance.
The airline will be losing the third peak period of traffic which makes business unsustainable, sources close to the development told the Economic Times.
The Indian airline IndiGo is the only other operator of this type of engine, and reportedly has almost 35 aircraft grounded due to the same issue.
However, the airline has already been compensated by the manufacturer, and IndiGo has now moved away from P&W and is instead using engines manufactured by their rival CFM International.
There has been no official statement so far regarding the same from Go First or Pratt & Whitney.