Thousands of canceled flights in Europe: unsafe planes?

A hurricane is hitting the world of international air traffic: different airlines that they bought new generation engines they are experiencing some technical issues. Around the world, hundreds of aircraft are standing on runways or in hangars awaiting repairs. And the airlines make the best of a bad situation canceling flights and reducing frequencies. We talk about at least 3 thousand fewer flights during the summer. A loss for the airline sector which has already recorded sharp declines in turnover during the pandemic restrictions.

Three thousand canceled flights

The new generation engines have rapidly conquered an important market share since they consume less. This is a great saving on fuel costs for airlines, but also an important step towards greater environmental sustainability.

Engines are installed in aircraft on two occasions: the first occurs when the airline purchases a new aircraft. After the purchase, the construction of an engine and its assembly is commissioned to a third-party company. The second occasion occurs when the old engine has now finished its life cycle and needs to be replaced.

But every medal has its downside: the new engines are greener, but they are also more delicate than traditional ones and need a more frequent maintenance.

Planes are safe

It is the Corriere della Sera to talk about the problems relating to engines manufactured by Pratt & Whitney. There is no news related to less safety in air traffic. From what can be seen, the false start, as these are newly manufactured and newly installed engines, is due to the fact that there is a shortage of spare parts and that the new engines show problems before the standard limit of 850 flight hours. Airlines are aware of this and schedule inspections ahead of time. But fewer flight hours before the critical threshold correspond to more frequent inspections and this helps to keep thousands of planes at a standstill.

The airlines involved

Among the airlines involved are Air Baltic, Swiss, Turkish Airlines, Spirit Airlines, All Nippon Airlines, Hong Kong Express Airlines, JetBlue, Air Tanzania, Air Senegal, IndiGo, Air Asia, Air India, Batik Air, Iraqi Airways.

“The engine market is under pressure across the industry, particularly due to the availability of upgrade and overhaul hardware,” explains Pratt & Whitney. “We expect supply chain pressures to ease over the course of the year, driving increased engine production and reducing the impact on airlines.”

But the cancellation of 3,000 flights pales in comparison with the possible cancellation of 90,000 flights, in Europe alone, feared last February.

Meanwhile, a new shock to the aviation sector comes from the European Union: the obligation that imposes the use of biofuels could soon cause ticket prices to rise.

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