Swiss grounds A220 fleet for engine checks

Several engine problems with the A220 have been reported in recent months Keystone

Swiss International Air Lines has grounded its fleet of 29 Airbus A220 jets to make engine checks after one encountered technical problems on a flight from London to Geneva on Tuesday. The plane was redirected to Paris.

Keystone-SDA/Reuters/ts

All A220 aircraft will undergo a comprehensive inspection, reported Swiss public television, RTS, quoting Swiss. 

“Only after a faultless inspection will the aircraft return to regular flight operations,” Swiss said. This would lead to a noticeable reduction in Swiss flight operations, as numerous flights would have to be cancelled, it added. 

“Swiss takes these incidents very seriously and is in close contact with the responsible authorities, Airbus Canada and the engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney,” it continued. 

“The safety of our customers and crews is our top priority. We will do everything in our power to return our [A220] fleet to normal flight operations as quickly as possible and to continue to ensure safe flight operations.” 

Pratt & Whitney said on Tuesday it had recommended additional checks on engines powering Airbus A220 and some Embraer E2 passenger jets after recent engine incidents. 

“Pratt & Whitney and our airframe OEMs (manufacturers), working in coordination with the regulatory authorities, have recommended additional inspections of the low-pressure compressor for PW1500G and PW1900G engines to keep the fleet operational,” a spokesman said. 

“The engines continue to meet all criteria for continued airworthiness.”

Affected passengers 

Eight technical problems with A220s were reported within one year, according to RTS. 

The 29 aircraft come from the Canadian company Bombardier, which has sold its medium-range jets to Airbus, which is why the C series of planes is also called A220. 

Swiss said it was contacting affected passengers, who would be rebooked on the best possible alternative at the airline’s expense. In addition, passengers’ tickets for a cancelled flight could be rebooked or refunded free of charge. 

A spokesman could not say how many passengers were affected. The company was still working this out.

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