International Aero Engines (IAE) is replacing parts in some of its V2500 engines on in-operation aircraft, after discovering problems with the engine's high-pressure compressor drum last year.

The problem has resulted in Indian carrier Kingfisher Airlines grounding nine of its Airbus A320s.

IAE discovered the issue last year during a routine inspection, says a spokeswoman from the engine manufacturer.

"We understand the issue and already have a simple fix in place that involves the replacement of certain nuts in the compressor. This fix is already being rolled out to the existing fleet through the overhaul process and is also in place for new production engines," she adds.

The problem involves stages three to eight of the 10-stage high-pressure compressor in the engine. IAE has been working with the airworthiness authorities to resolve the problem, says the spokeswoman.

The engine manufacturer has inspected about 500 engines and has found the problem in a limited number, says IAE. More than 4,200 V2500 engines are in service worldwide.

"Safety is always our number one priority and we continue to focus on the safe and reliable operation of the engine. As a result we have developed a thorough inspection program to ensure continued safe and reliable operation of the engine," says the spokeswoman.

Kingfisher has said that three of the nine grounded aircraft will return to service in two weeks. The airline operates 34 A320 family aircraft.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news