Sep. 12—Officials with Pratt & Whitney's corporate parent, RTX, said this week they are expanding their inspection efforts of PW1100 GTF engines currently in use for a potential defect, a move that will necessitate taking hundreds of commercial jets out of service between now and 2026.
RTX executives updated financial analysts on the inspection efforts on Monday and announced the Arlington, Va.-based company's pre-tax third quarter profits would take a $3 billion hit as a result of the problem. Neil Mitchill, RTX's executive vice president and chief financial officer, said despite the third quarter charge off, the company's financial position "remains strong, and we remain well positioned to execute on our strategic priorities."
RTX officials announced in July that a rare powder metal defect could result in cracking of some engine components.
But at the time, company officials put the number of inspections needed at about 200. RTX officials on Monday said an additional 600 to 700 engines will need to be inspected. Chris Calio, RTX's president and chief operating officer, said that will result in an average 350 aircraft of Pratt customers being grounded during the period between 2024 and 2026, with a peak of between 600 and 650 being grounded during the first six months of next year.
Calio said the turnaround time for the inspections will be between 250 and 300 days from the time the engines are removed from the aircraft to the time they are reinstalled.
Greg Hayes, RTX's chairman and chief executive officer, said the company is "focused on addressing the challenges arising from the powder metal manufacturing issue."
"We will never compromise on the safe operation of our fleet, which is why the Pratt & Whitney team has worked diligently to develop its fleet management plan," Hayes said. "At the same time, we recognize this is an extremely difficult situation for our customers, and we are proactively taking steps to support and mitigate the operational impact to them."
Richard Aboulafia, managing director at AeroDynamic Advisory, an aerospace consulting firm, said despite Pratt & Whitney's engine problems, no permanent damage has been done to the company or its reputation.
"They'll bounce back from it, but it will cost them a lot of money," Aboulafia said. "More money than they had originally thought."
Pratt & Whitney has Connecticut manufacturing facilities in East Hartford and Middletown.
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