Despite ongoing issues surrounding the delivery and customer acceptance of PW1100G engines, Airbus remains hopeful that it can meet its target of about 200 A320neo deliveries in 2017.
Nonetheless, Airbus CEO Tom Enders told analysts in an H1 earnings call that reaching the goal, which includes LEAP- and PW1100G-powered aircraft, would be “challenging.”
Recent figures suggest he is right, as Airbus delivered just nine A320neos in July to add to the 59 it handed over in the first six months of the year.
To reach 200 aircraft that means it will have to raise its average delivery rate from 9.7 A320neos per month to 26.4 for the remainder of the year.
At present it is unclear whether deliveries are being held up, but Enders told analysts that several A320neo operators have suffered a “way too high rate of removal” of PW1100G engines.
“The ramp-up remains challenging and our customers are still experiencing a number of in-service engine issues. Pratt & Whitney has introduced some fixes, but we are still waiting to see when improvements come through on a reliable basis under normal airline operational conditions,” he added.
Two of the main technical problems appear to be wearing of a carbon seal plate on the third bearing and combustion chamber distress.
For Lufthansa’s PW1100G-powered A320neos, "early issues have not been overcome completely yet," Bernhard Krueger-Sprengel, vice-president engine services, Lufthansa Technik, tells MRO Network.
However, the aftermarket for the engine type is expected to gradually pick up 10 years from now. By 2026, Aviation Week MRO Forecast data predicts total maintenance demand on the engine type will stand just short of $657 million.
To find out more about the PW1100G’s entry into service, as well as the debuts of other new engine types, pick up the next issue of Inside MRO.