Inflight shutdowns

Engine troubles bedevil newest Airbus jets

A320neo
Airbus would like to put A320neo engine problems behind it. Source: dpa

In its heated competition with US rival Boeing, the European aircraft maker Airbus has been banking on a relatively new, more economical version of its workhorse A320 passenger jet to win airline orders. But a problem with its American-made engines has led to a number of inflight incidents and aborted takeoffs, prompting European authorities to place restrictions on the affected planes.

The problem plane is the A320neo, which designates the planes with “new engine option.” The narrow-body jet uses two jet engines manufactured by Pratt & Whitney, a Hartford, Connecticut-based subsidiary of United Technologies. The engines are supposed to burn 16 percent less fuel and have lower maintenance costs than previous engines.

But since the beginning of the year, there have been four reported incidents involving A320neos fitted with a new version of the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engine. The Indian startup airline IndiGo has been forced to ground three A320s after incidents of engine shut down while in flight.

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