JetBlue Airways (B6, New York JFK) is talking down the impact of its ongoing problems with Pratt & Whitney's geared turbofan (GTF) PW1110G engines. During a second-quarter earnings call last week, President and CEO Joanna Geraghty said while the full impact of the engine issues remain unknown, she expects no more than four aircraft to be out-of-service by the end of the year because of them.

"We have had two A321-200neo aircraft on the ground for the last few months due to various engine issues," said Geraghty. "We have been notified by Pratt & Whitney over the last few weeks that we have a handful of engines that will be impacted and have to come off wings by mid-September. We expect the number of aircraft that we'll have on the ground through the end of the year to approximately double from what we have today."

In late July, as reported in ch-aviation, Pratt & Whitney customers were advised of "a rare condition in powder metal used to manufacture certain engine parts" requiring accelerated fleet inspection. The problems are specific to certain types of engines manufactured between 2015 and 2020 and fitted to certain A320-200neo family aircraft. The engine manufacturer recently discovered minute amounts of contamination were present in the metal used in the engine's high-pressure turbine discs. Consequently, they told customers that the engines would need to be taken out of service and inspected for micro-cracks, a process that could take up to 60 days per plane.

Geraghty was more circumspect on whether the GTF engine issue could impact JetBlue's 17-strong fleet of A220-300s. "Regarding the A220, we are still working through the potential, if any, impact on that GTF engine," she said. ch-aviation fleets data indicates that all 17 of the A220s are powered by PW1000 type engines, with all delivered to the airline between 2020 and 2023.

In addition to the A220-300s, the same data shows JetBlue is operating 278 aircraft, including one hundred and thirty A320-200s, sixty-three A321-200s, nineteen A321-200NX, eight A321-200NX(LR)s, and fifty-eight ERJ 190-100ARs. Of that number, 25 are inactive for various reasons, including two A321-200NX and one A321-200NX(LR).

Geraghty says over 40 aircraft are contractually due to be delivered in 2024, but current planning assumptions are for 30 deliveries, excluding any further engine issues surfacing. "A good portion of those deliveries are A220s," she said, "but also Mint-configured aircraft to help support our European aspirations."

Data provided by JetBlue during the earnings call shows the airline has taken delivery of seven aircraft so far this year, with a further 12 expected by the end of the year. By type, they include eleven A220-300s, four A321-200NX, and four A321-200NX(LR)s. On the returns side, JetBlue expects to hand back a total of four A320-200s and six E190-100ARs this year and eight A320-200s and sixteen E190-100ARs in 2024.