Key Points:

  • Delta Air Lines anticipates minimal early impacts from the recent Pratt & Whitney engine defects, with a comprehensive analysis expected soon.

  • RTX plans to withdraw 600-700 Pratt & Whitney GTF engines from Airbus A320neo jets for inspections due to a component defect over three years.

  • Initial 60-day repair timeframe for affected engines extended to a considerable 300 days following the discovery of the quality issue.

Delta Awaits Detailed Report on Engine Quality Concerns from Pratt & Whitney

ATLANTA — Delta Air Lines reported on Thursday that the recently revealed quality issues with RTX's Pratt & Whitney engines are not anticipated to have a significant immediate impact, although the full extent of the repercussions remains to be assessed. The carrier is awaiting a detailed evaluation from Pratt & Whitney scheduled for the end of the month, according to Delta's finance chief, Dan Janki, at a conference hosted by Morgan Stanley.

Earlier this week, RTX announced plans to remove between 600 and 700 of its Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan (GTF) engines installed in Airbus A320neo aircraft for rigorous quality examinations over a span of the next three years. This decision came following the identification of a defect in the powder metal used in the engines, a flaw that has the potential to cause cracks in various engine components. The timeline for the repairs has been drastically adjusted, shifting from an initial projection of 60 days to an extended period of up to 300 days per engine.

As Delta progresses through its inspection and repair phase, the company foresees receiving new reports on potential secondary ramifications, encompassing new deliveries and other repercussions reverberating through the already fragile supply chain. Janki stressed the necessity to scrutinize these "knock-on effects" to maintain an optimal operational pace.

The airline received its Airbus A321neos later in the production cycle, a strategy that posits them in a somewhat favorable position, considering the present circumstances. Janki revealed that Delta is set to close the year 2023 with a fleet slightly below 50 neos. While discussing the current scenario, Janki noted, "I think (the impact) will be minimal at this point, but we got to assess it," indicating a cautious but hopeful outlook.