Iraqi Airways grounds Airbus A220-300 aircraft following authorities’ orders

Iraq's civil aviation authorities ordered the grounding of Iraqi Airways Airbus A220-300 aircraft
Vytautas Kielaitis /

The Iraq Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) has issued Iraqi Airways with an order to ground its Airbus A220-300 aircraft. 

A letter sent from the ICAA to Iraqi Airways dated May 3, 2023, obtained by a Twitter user covering Iraq’s aviation industry, stated that the airline must “stop operating all aircraft” of the Airbus A220-300 model. The action must be done “immediately and until further notice, and until the investigation procedures are completed”. 

Iraqi Airways currently has four Airbus A220-300 aircraft, three of which are marked as inactive, according to data. The inactive aircraft list includes YI-ARG, which was mentioned by the ICAA.  

YI-ARI, the only active A220-300 in the airline’s fleet per data, made its last flight on May 3, 2023, when it was shipped away from Iraq and presumably to Tunis, according to data. The aircraft did not have a marked origin or destination point on the flight tracking website.  

ADS-B Exchange data shows that the aircraft briefly appeared on the radar in the Mediterranean Sea, flying just north of Malta and disappearing from the radar east of the coast of Tunis. 

The Airbus A220-300 is exclusively powered by the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan (GTF) PW1000G aircraft engine family, namely the PW1500G model. Many operators of the PW1000G aircraft engine family have encountered problems with the engine, with Pratt & Whitney experiencing turnaround time delays while repairing the power plant and struggling to provide replacements for grounded engines. 

Indian low-cost carrier Go First suspended operations and filed for insolvency under Section 10 of India’s Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) on May 5, 2023, citing the number of aircraft it was forced to ground due to Pratt & Whitney engine supply issues.  

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