Airbus plans to resolve issues with the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G powerplant by mid-2016, which will allow Qatar Airways to start taking delivery of its A320neos.
Speaking to reporters in Tianjin, Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Bregier concedes that the re-engined narrowbody still needs to reach performance standards, having encountered engine issues related to software and start-up time.
“By mid-year, this is at least our goal, is that we will have a very reliable A320neo with Pratt & Whitney engines, which will allow us to ramp up production and deliveries in the second half of the year,” says Bregier.
“We have a gentlemen’s agreement with Qatar to postpone delivery and they will take the aircraft when we believe it is mature enough for them, and around mid-year is what I would guess.”
Qatar had threatened to cancel the engine order for its 34 A320neos on order, saying the PW1100G engines had “a lot of problems”. The gulf carrier was originally due to take delivery of the first aircraft last December, but rejected the aircraft on engine problems, transferring the first delivery slot to Lufthansa.
P&W had also acknowledged that it faces “teething issues” with the powerplant, and that it is making “minor changes to the engine’s hardware and software”. It however stressed that it is hopeful of resolving the issues soon.