Air Tanzania and Air Senegal are considering joint action against Pratt & Whitney, the American aerospace company that produces the PW1524G-3 engines used by their Airbus A220-300 planes, which have been grounded for months due to technical problems. Both national carriers accuse the company of dragging its feet in resolving the longstanding issue of defective engines, resulting in mounting losses for the airlines.
Air Tanzania CEO Ladislaus Matindi revealed that engine problems had been uncovered by all airlines operating the planes worldwide, including EgyptAir. In addition to engine defects, other shortfalls include the lack of alternative engines and the plane’s body developing rust much sooner than expected, leading to elevated repair and maintenance costs.
While the airlines have been engaging in amicable negotiations with Pratt & Whitney to fix the engine problems and resume normal flight operations, they intend to take the company to task for failing to fulfil its contractual responsibility to supply extra engines in the event of engine failures. If negotiations fail, legal action may be taken. Compensation for losses incurred is also being negotiated, although the exact amount has not been quantified.
Air Tanzania was the first African carrier to purchase the Airbus A220-300 model in 2018 and currently operates 12 aircraft, including four of these. EgyptAir has also grounded 10 aircraft due to similar engine problems.