Turkish Airlines is preparing to ground more than 10 of its planes by the end of this year, following an announcement by Pratt & Whitney’s parent company, RTX, to recall hundreds of jet engines for inspection.
This recall is due to concerns over suspected contaminated metal in some engine parts, which could potentially lead to cracking.
The flag carrier of Turkey has a fleet consisting of 58 Airbus A320 and A321neo aircraft, all equipped with Pratt’s geared-turbofan engines. Last month, the airline had already grounded nine planes due to complications with these engines, as stated by a representative from media relations.
“Our expectation is to ground 11-12 aircraft by the end of the year, but due to uncertainties in the process, there is a possibility that this number will be revised upwards,” mentioned the media relations representative late Monday.
RTX, formerly recognized as Raytheon Technologies, had previously announced in July that the suspected contaminated metal in some engine parts would necessitate accelerated inspections. It is estimated that an average of 350 Airbus jets will be grounded annually for engine inspections over the forthcoming three years.
As of the end of August, Turkish Airlines operated a total of 428 aircraft. Although the number of aircraft expected to be grounded seems relatively small in comparison, the airline has already experienced a decrease in passenger capacity due to the grounding of planes in August. However, the company still anticipates a 15% to 20% growth in capacity in 2023 compared to the previous year.
Turkish Airlines, which serves over 340 destinations, continues to be one of the few airlines maintaining direct flights to Russia post the Ukraine invasion.
“Our negotiations with the manufacturer on this issue continue. Since there are still unclear issues regarding the affected engines and maintenance plans, it seems possible that there will be changes in the quantities mentioned above in the coming period,” the media relations representative added.