Update: Airbus A220 services have now resumed after SWISS conducted engine checks across its entire fleet. The airline said that no abnormalities had been found and apologised to customers for any inconvenience the sudden and unexpected decision to ground its A220 fleet had caused.
SWISS International Air Lines is warning of mass flight cancellations after the airline took the abrupt decision to ground its entire fleet of 29 Airbus A220 aircraft on Tuesday afternoon – formerly known as the Bombardier C-Series. The decision followed unspecified “technical problems” on an A220 operated flight between London and Geneva earlier today.
“Swiss has decided to carry out an engine inspection of the A220 fleet. For this reason, all A220s must undergo a comprehensive inspection,” a spokesperson for the airline was quoted as saying by the German language Blick newspaper.
An update on the official SWISS website said there may be “many flight cancellations” following the unprecedented decision. The airline did not speculate when the aircraft would be cleared to fly again.
Sources say the technical problems are associated with the aircraft’s Pratt & Whitney engines on the aircraft. It’s believed to be the second such incident in recent weeks with the pilots of today’s flight deciding to divert to Paris Charles de Gaulle after shutting down one of the two engines inflight.
French air accident investigators have classed today’s engine failure as a serious incident and have opened an investigation.
Airbus is assisting SWISS in the initial investigations but it remains unclear as to whether other A220 operators may be affected by this incident. Notably, Delta Air Lines who said it had been a beneficiary of the 737MAX grounding in the United States is a significant A220 operator.
Further details are expected to be released by SWISS and Airbus later today.