Monday, September 25, 2023

Air Tanzania grounds entire fleet of A220 planes

Tanzania’s national carrier, Air Tanzania, has grounded the entire fleet of its A220 planes. Reports say that the grounding of the planes is due to engine problems.

One of ATCL’s A220 last flew on January 3, this year and has been parked at Maastricht Aachen Airport in The Netherlands. A second aircraft that has been on the tarmac in Dar es Salaam last flew on August 27. A third A220 has not flown since November 5.

On November 10, Air Tanzania Company Ltd (ATCL) announced flight schedule disruptions, citing the unavailability of some of its A220s, owing to manufacturer’s directives that have shortened the service intervals on the Pratt & Whitney PW1524G-3 engine.

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“Due to the worldwide technical challenges of the PW1524G-3 engine used in the Airbus A220-300 aircraft and taking into account safety requirements, we have been following professional instructions to provide quality and safety service,” the airline said in a public statement.

“To ensure our flights operate according to schedule, we will reduce flights and cancel some of our flights depending on the number of available flights. This decision is temporary in order to give time to the engine manufacturers to address the existing problems,” the airline continued.

Air Tanzania flies to 24 destinations from its Dar es Salaam hub, with 14 being domestic flights.

“We mostly fly the Airbus planes to destinations with a sizable number of travelers,” Air Tanzania managing director Ladislaus Matindi said. He added that the issues affect all operators of Pratt and Whitney’s PW1500G and the PW1900G engines.

Air Tanzania operates four Airbus A220-300s alongside one Dash 8-Q300, five Dash 8-Q400 and two Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners, the airline’s website states.  The airline expects to add one Dash 8 Q400, two Boeing 737 MAX 9, one Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner and one Boeing 767 Freighter to its fleet before the end of 2023.

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