Pratt Engine Issues Will Affect Hawaiian Airlines Into 2024

Hawaiian A321neo
Credit: Christian Brinkmann/Airbus

Hawaiian Airlines has had to make further adjustments to its network and fleet plans to offset the grounding of some of its Airbus A321neos due to Pratt & Whitney engine availability issues.

The groundings have been a major issue for Hawaiian and a number of other airlines for several months, related to a servicing backlog for P&W’s geared turbofan engines and a global shortage of spare engines. New inspection requirements have compounded the problem.

Hawaiian updated the status of its A321neo fleet during its third-quarter earnings call on Oct. 24. The carrier said it currently has two aircraft grounded due to engine availability, and it expects to have 2-4 of its A321neos out of action at once over the next few months.

Engine removals caused a higher-than-normal cancellation rate for Hawaiian early in the third quarter, CEO Peter Ingram said. The carrier has adjusted its schedules to accommodate up to four aircraft out of service through the fourth quarter and into early 2024.

However, Ingram said the availability situation is expected to improve as 2024 progresses as the airline’s engine inventory will be boosted by the return of several powerplants that are in the servicing pipeline.

Meanwhile, Hawaiian said it has negotiated two-year extensions for four leased Airbus A330s that were due to be returned in 2024, which will help reduce the effect of the aircraft groundings on its network plans.

The carrier has reached terms with Pratt regarding short-term compensation for the lack of engine availability over the past several months, Ingram added. However, this agreement will expire later in the fourth quarter. Hawaiian is holding discussions with the engine manufacturer regarding further compensation.

Hawaiian is receiving compensation in the form of maintenance credits.

The airline reported a net loss of $48.7 million for the third quarter, versus a net loss of $9.3 million for the same period last year. The carrier’s revenue was affected by the A321neo groundings, as well as by the Maui wildfires in August which significantly cut travel demand to that island.

Adrian Schofield

Adrian is a senior air transport editor for Aviation Week, based in New Zealand. He covers commercial aviation in the Asia-Pacific region.