Pratt & Whitney remains on track to deliver 350-400 PW1000G geared turbofans (GTFs) in 2017, but it is working with Airbus to determine the mix of engines for new aircraft versus to grow a sizable spares pool supporting an entry-into-service reliability improvement program for A320neos.
"What we are working right now with Airbus is to see whether we want to…change the mix between engines that go towards new aircraft versus what goes into the lease pool this year to support the engines in the field better at this point in time," said Akhil Johri, CFO of Pratt parent United Technologies Corp. (UTC). "That's the only thing we are looking at. The number of total engines, 350 to 400--not a doubt at all at this point in time."
Speaking at a Morgan Stanley investor conference Sept. 14, Johri said that Pratt is "still on track" to begin delivering the latest version of the PW1100G-JM combustor liner this quarter. Fixes for the other major issue hampering in-service PW1100G-JMs that power the A320neo family, more durable No. 3 bearing compartment carbon air seals and related software changers, were rolled out this spring. Most in-service engines were fixed on-wing, but some needing more extensive work are being pulled into shops.
This and the wait for a more reliable combustor is creating demand for spares to help clear a backlog of parked in-service A320neos, notably at Indian carriers Indigo and GoAir, awaiting repairs.
"We are still in discussions with Airbus to see what is best for the operators," Johri said. "It is painful to see so many aircraft on [the] ground. No denying that. And so our first priority is to make sure that we can make the airlines that have our engine healthier, [and to] use the asset."
Pratt delivered 134 GTFs in the first half of 2017, including spares.