Vietnam Airlines to ground 20% of domestic fleet due to engine issues

Vietnam Airlines Airbus A321
KITTIKUN YOKSAP / Shutterstock

The flag carrier of Vietnam, Vietnam Airlines, has decided to ground a dozen passenger aircraft that have experienced engine problems.

According to Vietnam Airlines Chief Executive Le Hong Ha, the country’s largest airline will shortly ground a total of twelve Airbus A320neo family aircraft fitted with Pratt & Whitney PW1100 GTF engines. Speaking to the local media outlet VNExpress, the CEO explained that the affected planes will remain inactive for up to 300 days, as ongoing supply chain disruptions have doubled the expected maintenance time.

Vietnam Airlines currently operates a mixed fleet consisting of 107 planes, 20 of which are A321-200N jets, all powered by a troubled engine, as indicated by It is estimated that the number of aircraft set to be grounded represents nearly 20% of the carrier’s entire domestic fleet.

Pratt & Whitney’s GTF engine problem, which first emerged in July 2023 due to a rare condition in the powder metal used to manufacture certain engine parts, has impacted numerous airlines and aircraft leasing companies globally.

RTX Corporation, the owner of Pratt & Whitney, estimates that the scheduled engine inspections, potentially spanning up to 60 days each, are slated to occur between 2023 and 2026. This will potentially result in the annual grounding of approximately 350 aircraft throughout this period. However, in a scenario of a surge in aircraft grounding, the number of aircraft affected may reach 650 planes during the first six months of 2024.

According to the engine manufacturer, the affected GTFs were manufactured between October 2015 and September 2021. To this date, the number of possibly impacted engines has grown to nearly 3,000 globally, or more than 90% of the GTF engines presently in service.

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