The first Pratt & Whitney PW6000-powered Airbus A318 for launch customer LAN Airlines is undergoing testing.

The Chilean airline has 20 of the twinjets on order.

The PW6000-powered version was the first A318 variant to fly, in January 2002, but the programme suffered lengthy delays after a major redesign of the engine’s high-pressure compressor was required to address performance shortfalls. As a result, the rival CFM International CFM56-powered version became the lead variant, entering service with Frontier Airlines in mid-2003.

The A318 made its first flight with the revised PW6000 engine in December 2004.

LAN Airlines A318 W445
© French Frogs Aviation Pictures