Based on reports over the last 24 hours, it appears that Paris-based Air France is now having problems with another aircraft type in its fleet: The Airbus A220.
This does appear to be with the newer deliveries that the carrier has received in the last few months, with there being at least two instances so far.
Without further ado, let’s get into it…
Meet F-HZUV: The Airbus A220 Troublemaker for Air France…
F-HZUV was delivered to Air France just last month and is the -300 variant of the A220 that Airbus currently offers.
Within that month, there have been two incidents with the aircraft, which have been put down to technical problems with the jet.
The first incident happened on its delivery flight from Mirabel, Montreal to Paris Charles de Gaulle.
This happened on May 3, when around an hour into this flight, the aircraft turned back around to Mirabel, and then safely returned.
At this stage, it was unclear what the nature of the technical issue was, with the aircraft then being fixed by engineers and sent back on its way to Paris Charles de Gaulle once again.
No emergency 7700 squawk code was transmitted during its return, meaning the problem was able to be controlled during the return.
The second incident happened yesterday evening when AF1288 from Paris CDG to Manchester declared an emergency not half an hour after departure.
This time, an emergency 7700 squawk code was deployed by the pilots-in-command, with the aircraft landing again shortly after.
With the first incident being caused by engine trouble, the speculation has rolled already in stating that the same thing has happened again.
Is This A Repeat of Issues Seen with Iraqi Airways?
If it is indeed engine trouble, then this could be another repeat of what was seen last month with Iraqi Airways, which grounded its fleet of A220s due to issues with the Pratt & Whitney PW1500Gs.
As mentioned by Simple Flying last month, the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority said the following on this:
From Civil Aviation Authority. Department of Safety.
To: Iraqi Airways Company / the Office of the General Manager
In reference to the operator of the two aircraft (A220-300) with the registration (YI-ARI) and (YI-ARG) operating within your company’s fleet.
We ask you to completely (and immediately) stop the operations on all your A220-300 until further notice and until the investigation procedures are completed. Please inform us of your procedures as soon as possible.
If this is the same issue again, then that could be another blow for Airbus & Pratt & Whitney as this is going to cause some more headaches.
AviationSource has approached Airbus & Air France for a comment on the two incidents listed, but at the time of publication, they have not responded to us. We will update the article as soon as any comments come in.
Not The First Time The Paris-based Carrier Has Had Aircraft Trouble…
This isn’t the first time that Air France has had issues with an aircraft type in Paris, never mind the A220 being the most recent.
F-HRBA was delivered brand new to the French carrier in November 2016, making the aircraft 6.3 years old at the time of writing.
The two emergencies happened on Flight 864 from Paris to Cape Town, and the other on Paris to Male.
Such issues involved the engine onboard the aircraft, which is powered by the GEnx engines.
Coming back to the A220s with Air France, F-HZUV has not been airborne since its emergency, with no indication of when it will be fixed.
All eyes will continue to be focused on the A220 and the engine issues going into the Paris Air Show, as the European planemaker will want to secure some more orders for the aircraft type.
But for now, all eyes will be on determining the causes of both of these emergencies, especially if this does mean a continuation of issues for the Pratt & Whitney PW1500G engines.