Vietnam Airlines To Ground Aircraft

Daniel Fowkes
07 Mar 2024
· Aircraft 
· Airlines 
Vietnam Airlines will be forced to ground 20% of its domestic fleet across 300 days due to the Pratt & Whitney engine crisis.

Vietnam Airlines has identified itself as the latest victim of the ongoing Pratt & Whitney engine difficulties, noting it’ll be forced to ground 12 Airbus A321 aircraft for up to 300 days, per VNExpress.

12 aircraft being parked represent a staggering 20% of its domestic fleet and highlight the significant global effects being felt on airlines due to this crisis.

These issues now hurting Vietnam Airlines correlate to a condition affecting the powder metal used in Pratt & Whitney engines. These engines power several Airbus aircraft and were first discovered and formally identified in 2023.

VNExpress also cites that the CEO of Vietnam Airlines said that its Airbus A321 aircraft wouldn’t be the only type impacted by the ongoing problems. He said that the Airbus A350s also felt the effects of their own engine difficulties; however, they didn’t reveal more.

Airfares Rise

The airline says airfares will rise in the short to medium term because of the persistent groundings and their impact on Vietnam Airlines’ ability to offer a smooth schedule.

While unrelated to engine difficulties, budget carrier Ryanair is warning of rising airfares as it struggles to acquire Boeing 737 MAX jets on time. Ryanair is forecasting significantly fewer deliveries across 2024 because of production issues, which will impact its schedule.

Ryanair has confirmed a delay in delivery of its upcoming 737 MAX jets and therefore route cuts with price increases across Summer 2024.
Photo credit: Anna Zvereva

At Vietnam Airlines, the parking of aircraft will impact their ability to offer the frequency of services they ideally want.

A Rocky Road Ahead

Looking ahead, Vietnam Airlines will need to navigate the turbulence caused by these groundings, which are set to be for the long term rather than the short term.

The airline says that, thanks to bruised and beaten supply chains, rectifying this problem quickly isn’t possible, and they’re in this for the long haul. This is more than evident through the 300 days quoted.

While battling these difficulties, Vietnam Airlines will seek comfort in knowing they aren’t the only airline impacted by something similar.

The reality is that airlines worldwide are being forced to slash their schedules, ground planes, lease aircraft, adjust deliveries, and report negative financial performance.

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