Swiss Airlines Grounds A220 Fleet

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Swiss International Airlines temporarily grounded its fleet of Airbus A220 aircraft following an in-flight engine failure on Tuesday that caused a Geneva-bound Swiss Air flight to divert to Paris, France. According to France’s Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation Civile (BEA—Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety), this is the third such engine failure on a Swiss Airlines Pratt & Whitney PW1524G-3-powered A220 since July. Following Tuesday’s grounding, the airline began engine inspections and has started returning the aircraft to service.

“After a comprehensive engine inspection, the first C Series have already returned into service in perfect condition,” Swiss Airlines said in a statement. “Based on the current planning the flight operations can be resumed on Thursday in a largely regular manner. SWISS takes these incidents very seriously and continues to maintain close contact with the responsible authorities, Airbus Canada & Pratt & Whitney.”

The FAA issued an airworthiness directive (PDF) requiring “initial and repetitive inspections of the low-pressure compressor (LPC) inlet guide vane (IGV) and the LPC rotor 1” on a series of Pratt & Whitney turbofans following Swiss Airlines’ second in-flight engine shutdown in September. As per international agreement, the BEA has delegated investigation into the incidents to the NTSB as the authority in the country of design for the engine. As part of that investigation, the BEA is organizing a ground search near Perrigny-sur-Armancon and Cry for some of the damaged engine parts from the July engine failure.

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