Hong Kong Express Anticipates Six-Month Delay of the Delivery of Airbus A320neo


According to an internal memo issued by Hong Kong Express Airways Ltd, a minimum of 6 months of delay in the deliveries of the new Airbus SE A320neo jets are anticipated by the airline because of some issues with the engines that were made by Pratt & Whitney.

A person with knowledge regarding the matter said that the budget carrier had suspended a plane in Hong Kong until May because of a lack of spare engines following a made a mid-air turn-back of the jet because of engine issues in January.

According to a memo to pilots, one of its five A320neos also remains on the ground at the final assembly line site of the Airbus in Hamburg and is still yet to be delivered to Hong Kong since one of its engines requires a fix.

On Wednesday, the aviation regulator of the United States of America said that the engines from Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, posed a possible shutdown risk, in a formal warning after a similar action by regulators in Europe on the 9th of February.

On the 10th of February, IndiGo, the largest airline in India that is owned by InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, said that it had suspended three jets because of issues with the engines of Pratt & Whitney.

The Hong Kong Express memo said that the priority of Pratt & Whitney is to obtain replacement engines for all of the jets that are affected. The contents of the said were originally reported earlier on Thursday by the South China Morning Post.

The memo stated that it could take months, while the new A320neos that are on the production line could likely be delayed for “six months or more.”

The memo said that since replacement engines will require testing, the budget carrier is “seriously considering” not including any new A320neos into the fleet of the airline until 2019 at the earliest.

Hong Kong Express is partly owned by HNA Group Co Ltd. Representatives of the airline were not immediately available to give comments regarding the matter. However, the South China Morning Post reported that Hong Kong Express said that the memo had been published in order to provide significant details regarding the fleet and operations of the cockpit crew of airline.

On Thursday, Airbus said that it was assessing the effect that the engine issue would have on the deliveries for 2018.

Pratt & Whitney was not immediately available to issue a comment. Last Monday, the engine maker said that it would discuss the possible effect of the problem on the engine production in 2018 after regulators respond to the proposed solution of the company.