Aegean, Cebu Outline GTF Impact

Credit: Airbus

Greek carrier Aegean Airlines expects almost one in three of its Airbus A320neo family aircraft to be grounded in 2024 due to hospital visits for its Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan engines.

More airlines are now guiding for the impact the problem as more details of the inspection regime are revealed.

Last week, Philippine carrier Cebu Pacific said it would have to ground up to 20 of its A320neo-family fleet through 2024. The low-cost carrier is exploring wet leases and new and used aircraft acquisitions in a bid to maintain capacity growth next year.

Aegean, meanwhile, expects 10 aircraft to be grounded in 2024, and warns that the disruption could continue into 2025 with a similar number of aircraft grounded that year, mainly due to maintenance capacity limitations.

“We do not have the same slot availability in 2025 that we do in 2024,” says Aegean’s chief executive, Dimitris Georgiannis.

The airline, which saw net profit increase 83% to €171 million ($185.2 million) for the first nine months of 2023, expects to wrap up compensation negotiations with Pratt & Whitney before the end of the year.

To cope with the groundings next year, Aegean has extended leases of five A320s and scaled back its charter operations.

It should also receive new A320neos, which are not subject to the powder metal issues identified by the OEM as occurring in certain build years up to 2021. Aviation Week forecasts seven A320neo-family deliveries in 2024 and four the following year.

Aegean expects to increase its A320neo fleet to 31 aircraft in 2024.

Alex Derber

Alex Derber, a UK-based aviation journalist, is editor of the Engine Yearbook and a contributor to Aviation Week and Inside MRO.