VivaAerobus has not escaped the reliability problems with Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-powered Airbus A320neos that have blighted the variant's service entry for a number of operators.
“The reliability of the engine… it has had some issues, which Pratt is solving,” the Mexican ultra-low-cost carrier's chief executive, Juan Carlos Zuazua, told FlightGlobal at the World Routes event in Barcelona on 24 September.
Those issues have led to two engine “AOGs” – incidents where aircraft were grounded due to technical problems – he says, “but fortunately we had an engine spare very near by – Dallas – so we had to ground [the aircraft] for three or four days. But it was not a big catastrophe.
“We are confident that both Pratt and Airbus are going to be able to overcome the situation.”
When operational, the engine is delivering a 15-17% fuel saving, Zuazua says, adding “we’re quite pleased”.
VivaAerobus has two P&W-powered A320neos in service, with firm orders for 38 more, Flight Fleets Analyzer shows.
Zuazua says the carrier will be taking delivery of three A320ceos this year, which will bring its fleet of that variant to 24.
VivaAerobus is not alone in having experienced problems with P&W-powered A320neos.
Indian carrier GoAir said earlier this month that it has reduced its A320neo intake in 2017 because of issues relating to the PW1100G.
Fellow Indian carrier IndiGo, meanwhile, said earlier this year that it had regularly needed to ground its P&W-powered A320neos due to a lack of spare engines.
A slowing of P&W-powered A320neo deliveries in the first half of the year prompted Airbus chief executive Tom Enders to say in late July: "We have way too high a rate of removal of [PW1100G] engines from aircraft in operation. It's very disrupting for operations of airline customers."
In an August statement, P&W said it was working on solutions: "We understand that some early fielding issues have disrupted our customers’ operations, and we are working hand-in-hand with them on a daily basis to address the needs of their in-service fleet. In the process of pushing beyond the boundaries and limits of previous technologies, we expect to learn new things as this new engine enters service."
A320neo customers also have the option to choose CFM International Leap-1A engines.