According to Aviation Week Network (AWN). Airbus will slow down the production of its A320neo aircraft, as Pratt & Whitney continues working on a permanent fix to solve the existing issues with its PW1100G engine.
Airbus began 2016 with a production rate of eight A320neos per month, which was going to increase to 10 aircraft in July. The adjustment would cause a cut in the current production in half to four aircraft per month. According to the report, the plans are to keep this rate until June.
At the present time, the permanent solution proposed by PW implies a hardware fix and software update. The technical issue is known to require engines to run in idle during three minutes before taxi, following a cold start.
Last December, Qatar Airways, which was supposed to be the launch operator, declined to take delivery of the aircraft under such technical constraints, swapping deliveries with German carrier Lufthansa, with India’s low-cost carrier IndiGo following suit.
So far, only five A320neos have been delivered (two to Lufthansa and three to IndiGo). Lufthansa is operating their aircraft for the time being only regularly within Germany.
At the delivery ceremony held in Hamburg last February, Lufthansa’s CEO Carsten Spohr confirmed that despite the technical issues, the initial experiences with the A320neo have been positive, confirming that the 15 percent lower fuel consumption mark was not only achieved but also slightly exceeded.
Airbus is set to announce its first quarter financial results next April 28, and it is expected to give an update on its current production plans.