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Vietnam Airlines to ground 12 planes for maintenance

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Le Hong Ha said engine issues are plaguing over 3,500 A321/A320neo aircraft worldwide with Pratt & Whitney engines.

Vietnam Airlines uses 24 of the engines, he said Thursday on the sidelines of the 2024 International Airline Symposium in Hanoi.

The engine problems have also impacted Vietnam Airlines’ Airbus A350 aircraft, he added.

The problem is caused by a rare condition in the powder metal used to manufacture certain engine parts, a concern flagged by Pratt & Whitney in July 2023 as affecting engines produced between October 2015 and September 2021.

This has caused numerous airlines globally to ground or inspect their aircraft.

Vietnam airlines ceo le hong ha on the sidelines of the international airline symposium 2024 on feb. 28, 2024 in hanoi. Photo by vnexpress/anh tu

Vietnam Airlines CEO Le Hong Ha on the sidelines of the International Airline Symposium 2024 on Feb. 28, 2024 in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Tu

Budget carrier Vietjet may also have fleet trouble due to the engine issues.

A shortage of aircraft has been partly blamed for the recent jump in domestic airfares, which is turning passengers away.

Before and after the Lunar New Year holidays (in mid-February) airlines carried 13% fewer passengers than last year.

But Ha pointed out that Vietnam is among the few countries still capping airfares, adding the ceilings should be scrapped in future.

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