Wizz Air is making operational adjustments due to advance checks of some GTF engines requested by Pratt & Whitney
Wizz Air may be forced to cancel at least 8.500 flights and eliminate around two million seats between October this year and March 2024 due to problems with Pratt & Whitney's GTF engines. This type of engine is found on the Airbus A320neo and A321neo aircraft.
According to some expert estimates, the canceled flights could mean a loss of 132 million euros for the Hungarian low-cost airline. According to the timetable for the winter period and based on the financial situation of the airline, these figures are estimated by the Italian daily Courier, quoted by hvg.hu.
They point out that in addition to Wizz Air, many other airlines may also be heavily affected, including Volaris, Spirit Airlines, Indigo, Turkish Airlines, Sichuan, Air China and Lufthansa, as they operate many aircraft equipped with such engines.
Pratt & Whitney's GTF engines came under the scrutiny of aviation safety authorities after microscopic cracks were discovered in some of their high-pressure turbines after one of the turbine blades of the V2500 engine, manufactured by a similar process, broken. The company said 600-700 of the roughly 3.000 GTF engines on the planes will need to be inspected between 2023 and 2026.
Wizz Air confirmed this and issued the following statement:
Wizz Air announces that due to advance checks of some GTF engines, requested by Pratt & Whitney, it has had to make adjustments within its network, resulting in the cancellation of flights on certain days between some destinations. Passengers on the affected flights will be offered an alternative flight schedule, the option of a full refund via the original payment method, or a refund of 120% of the original fare paid in company credit for future bookings. If a reservation was made through a travel agency, whether online, the airline recommends that passengers contact the agency holding the reservation to make the necessary changes. Wizz Air also recommends checking your spam folder for emails regarding possible schedule changes.
Wizz Air apologizes for the inconvenience caused by this unplanned event, which is beyond our control, but the safety and security of passengers, crew and aircraft is our priority."
The Hungarian airline is "trying to assess the extent of the impact on the fleet, which according to the first estimates could lead to a 10% reduction in capacity (ie the number of seats available for sale)" between October 2023 and March 2024. According to the planning for the affected six-month period, Wizz Air offers 19 million seats on 85 thousand flights.