Pratt & Whitney (P&W) is confident that the maintenance support strategy it is putting into place for its geared turbofan (GTF) engine will satisfy airline customers of the Bombardier CSeries, Airbus A320neo, the Mitsubishi Regional Jet and the Irkut MS-21.
At the Farnborough air show last year Qatar Airways boss Akbar Al Baker said a CSeries order hadn't come to fruition due to the airline's concerns over P&W's maintenance cost guarantees.
Asked where the engine manufacturer stands on the issue now, P&W commercial engines and global services president, Todd Kallman told ATI and flightglobal: "We continue to work with Bombardier and I think we are in a good position. But think about the fact that we were able to show both Lufthansa, which has its own maintenance organization, and IndiGo, a low-cost carrier, that we have a better value proposition on the A320neo engine than the competition. I think that was huge. We have a good strategy in place. We'll have a network that supports us.
"Partners on the A320neo include MTU and the Japanese Aero Engine Corp (JAEC). So we have a good plan. We put a lot of effort into how we designed this engine, not just for performance but also maintainability, including placing boroscope ports on the engine so you can do a lot of inspection on wing, and we can do some repairs on wing overnight that traditionally have been done in an engine shop, such as compressor airfoil blending. We even simplified how you dismantle and reassemble the engine in the shop. Also, there are much fewer parts so all of that goes into lowering maintenance costs."
Lufthansa has ordered both the PW1100G-powered A320neo and the PW1500G-powered CSeries. While the core size between the engines is different, and they are not common on a part number basis, the two types share commonality in architecture "so it gives us the opportunity in developing the aftermarket maintenance plan to have synergies there", said Kallman.
"There will be compatibility in terms of how the engine is maintained on wing with the use of boroscopes. In terms of whether it makes sense for airlines to acquire both A320neo and CSeries, it goes back to the airline and how they want to evaluate commonality - whether it be commonality in the actual airplane versus what is the actual mission for the aircraft. But I think there are opportunities for both types in an airline's fleet."