BAGHDAT, IRAQ — In a recent development, the Iraq Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) has directed Iraqi Airways to immediately ground its entire Airbus A220-300 fleet. The mandate, which surfaced in a letter dated May 3, 2023, and acquired by an Iraq aviation industry insider on Twitter, stipulates that the airline must cease operating all Airbus A220-300 aircraft until further notice, and until the investigation is completed.

Presently, Iraqi Airways owns four Airbus A220-300 planes, with three of them marked as inactive, as per data from The ICAA's letter specifically mentioned YI-ARG, one of the inactive aircraft. YI-ARI, the only active A220-300 in Iraqi Airways' possession, completed its final flight on May 3, 2023. The plane was transported from Iraq to an undisclosed location, presumed to be Tunis, according to data. The aircraft's origin and destination points were not indicated on the flight tracking site.

Data from ADS-B Exchange revealed that YI-ARI briefly appeared on radar screens over the Mediterranean Sea, just north of Malta, before vanishing off the radar near the eastern coast of Tunis.

The Airbus A220-300s are exclusively powered by Pratt & Whitney's Geared Turbofan (GTF) PW1000G engine family, specifically the PW1500G model. Numerous carriers operating the PW1000G engine family have faced difficulties, with Pratt & Whitney encountering delays in repairing the power plant and providing replacement engines for grounded aircraft.

This development comes as Indian low-cost airline Go First suspended operations and filed for insolvency under Section 10 of India's Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) on May 5, 2023. The carrier cited the grounding of a significant number of aircraft due to Pratt & Whitney engine supply issues as the primary reason for the move.