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SWISS Air Grounds Its Airbus 220s

In an unexpected chain of events, SWISS Air has been forced to ground its entire A220 fleet pending the inspection of the aircraft engines.

The call to ground the planes came after a Geneva bound flight diverted to Paris on Tuesday due to an inflight engine shutdown. SWISS currently has the world’s largest fleet of A220s and the grounding caused dozens of flight cancellations. This is not the first time SWISS A220s have experienced this, with at least two other identical incidents this year. The engines under investigation are manufactured by Pratt and Whitney and are known as the “geared turbofan.”

Because of the serious incident, the airline is thoroughly inspecting each of its A220 engines before continuing flights. SWISS went into detail on their Twitter, “SWISS has decided to conduct engine inspections for its entire C Series fleet. This means that all SWISS C Series aircraft will undergo an extensive examination from today onwards. Only following a faultless inspection will these aircraft be returned to regular flight duties.” As of Wednesday, some aircraft have returned to the skies while some will not be cleared until Thursday.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has taken over the investigation from France’s safety agency, the Bureau d’Enquetes et d’Analyses, and SWISS is working with Airbus, Pratt and Whitney, and regulators to rectify the situation. The airline said in a statement, “SWISS takes these incidents very seriously, and is in close dialogue with the relevant authorities, with Airbus Canada and with the engines’ manufacturer (Pratt & Whitney). The safety of our customers and our crews is our paramount priority. We will do everything we can to return the operation of our C Series fleet to normal as soon as possible and continue to ensure safe flight operations.”

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Nick Art October 23, 2019

This was a voluntary step taken by Swiss. They weren't forced to ground the plane at all.