An aircraft engine issue will continue to hamper the operations of the airline industry until 2024 based on the advisory of a leading manufacturer.
Pratt and Whitney (P&W), a global manufacturer and service provider of aircraft engines and auxiliary power units, advised an airline in the Philippines of an issue which was not made public to the press.
Cebu Pacific said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange Friday that P&W informed the company of a condition that will further affect maintenance plans for its engines.
The low-cost carrier said that while “there is no immediate impact on our operations”, it would revise downward its growth rate in 2024.
“We expect that this will affect our fleet availability in 2024,” Cebu Pacific said.
Several airlines grounded some of their aircraft that could not be immediately serviced by P&W early this year. On Sept. 14, 2023, The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), India’s aviation regulator, asked P&W to identify the cause of engine damage in three incidents involving IndiGo flights and share data on engine failures globally.
Cebu Pacific said it expects its fleet to end 2023 with 76 aircraft and grow to 91 aircraft in 2024. It is the youngest fleet in the Philippines and includes 25 P&W-powered Airbus aircraft.
“We anticipate that a number of the aircraft will be affected next year by the recent announcement and as such the growth rate for 2024 will be revised downwards,” Cebu Pacific said.
Data from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) showed that Cebu Pacific carried 7.69 million domestic and international passengers in the first six months of 2023.
The airline posted a net income of P3.74 billion in the first half of the year, a reversal from P9.5 billion net loss in the same period last year.
Cebu Pacific’s revenues amounted to P43.55 billion, or 110.6 percent higher than P20.68 billion in the same period last year.
“We would like to assure our passengers that this is not a safety issue. The accelerated fleet inspection will ensure the continued safe operation of the P&W fleet,” it said.
Cebu Pacific said P&W committed to working closely with the airline to minimize any potential impact that the issue may have on its operations.
“Given the complexity of the situation in the near-term, P&W assured us that it has aligned the expertise and resources needed and will work with its partners to resolve things as efficiently as possible,” it said.
“Cebu Pacific has already taken a focused approach to proactively manage supply chain and operational challenges facing the industry. In recent months, we have put in place substantial contingency measures with current on-time-performance levels reaching as high as 90 percent. This reflects our commitment to providing our customers with a safe, reliable, and affordable travel experience,” it said.