KLM becomes first E-Jet E2 operator to acknowledge issues with P&W engines

KLM was forced to adjust its summer scheduled due to issues related to the Pratt & Whitney engines powering its Embraer E195-E2 aircraft
Olaf Schulz / Shutterstock.com

KLM is joining other airlines who have had to make operational adjustments to their schedules due to issues with the Pratt & Whitney PW1000G aircraft engine family, with the airline struggling to fully utilize the Embraer E195-E2 aircraft. 

KLM said in a statement that its regional subsidiary KLM Cityhopper “is having difficulty fully deploying the E2″. 

“KLM Cityhopper is consulting with Embraer and engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney to seek a solution for these issues, which have no impact on flight safety,” KLM continued, adding that minor adjustments to its summer flight schedule will follow. 

“KLM Cityhopper has deployed alternative capacity by retaining E190s that were to be returned to lease companies. Several wet lease agreements have also been signed,” the short statement concluded.  

The aircraft is exclusively powered by the PW1900G engine, also known as the Geared Turbofan (GTF), part of the PW1000G aircraft engine family that also powers the Airbus A220, Airbus A320neo family, the now-canceled Mitsubishi SpaceJet, and the Russian Irkut MC-21. 

According to ch-aviation.com data, KLM Cityhopper has 15 Embraer E195-E2 aircraft in its fleet, with five currently marked as inactive. In addition, the Dutch regional carrier has 17 E175 and 30 E190 aircraft, which are the predecessors to Embraer’s E-Jet E2 family. However, an analysis of flightradar24.com data shows that PH-NXA, PH-NXI, PH-NXJ, PH-NXM, and PH-NXK, which are marked as inactive, could be joined by PH-NXL and PH-NXN in the stored aircraft list, as the two E195-E2s have not flown since May 7, and May 6, 2023, respectively. 

Other airlines have experienced issues with the supply of P&W GTF engines over the past few months. For example, airBaltic stated that it would have to wet lease aircraft from Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, and Insurance (ACMI) operators for the summer. However, the most high-profile case was the India-based low-cost carrier Go First, which blamed Pratt & Whitney for its insolvency issues. The airline stated that the issue had forced it to suspend operations and issue a plea for bankruptcy protection from India’s National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on May 2, 2023. 

While the NCLT granted bankruptcy protection on May 10, 2023, lessors have asked the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to deregister as many as 42 aircraft in multiple deregistration requests in the past few weeks. 

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