SWISS Grounds Three A320 Aircraft Over Persistent Engine Issues


(MENAFN- Swissinfo) Three Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) A320 aircraft are currently grounded due to engine problems. According to the airline's Head of Operations, SWISS will have to do without a total of eight of these aircraft in the coming months due to maintenance work.

This content was published on March 4, 2024 - 11:22 2 minutes Keystone-SDA

According to the Head of Operations Oliver Buchhofer, there are no indications that the situation will improve soon.“We assume that the problem with the engines will continue until 2026,” he said in an interview with the Swiss media group Tamedia published on Monday.

Last year, SWISS experienced delays in flight operations due to problems with the Pratt & Whitney engines. Even back then, SWISS had to operate without up to eight aircraft in some cases. According to Buchhofer, the downtime cost SWISS hundreds of millions of Swiss francs.

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The airline is holding“constructive talks” with the engine manufacturer and is confident that a solution will be found, said Buchhofer.“An out-of-court solution is always preferable. But we don't want to be stuck with the costs.”

Wet-lease flights continue

To address capacity bottlenecks, SWISS is continuing to rely on so-called wet-lease flights, in which passengers are transported by the Latvian airline Air Baltic and Helvetic Airways instead of SWISS, said Buchhofer.

Buchhofer rejected criticism related to the wages of Air Baltic employees, who earn substantially less than SWISS employees.“The Air Baltic employees are not employed by us and the majority of them fly on Air Baltic routes. We have a valid contract with Air Baltic and comply with all European regulations regarding wet leases.”

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According to Buchhofer, he is not aiming to take over from SWISS CEO Dieter Vranckx, who will step down in the middle of the year.“We are currently facing major challenges in our day-to-day operations. That is my focus.”

Adapted from German by DeepL/dkk/amva

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