It took a long time before Iraqi Airways was able to put the first Airbus A220 into active flight service after delivery. Now it’s over – at least for the time being – because the civil aviation authority of Iraq prohibited the operation of the A220-300 model from May 3, 2023.
Iraqi Airways currently has four examples of this type, but often only one of them is used regularly. There has long been speculation about the real reasons for this approach, as the company is not particularly talkative in this regard. In a letter dated May 3, 2023, the carrier is ordered, in part, by the Civil Aviation Authority of Iraq to « cease all Airbus A220-300 model aircraft operations. » This must be done “immediately and until further notice and until the investigation procedure has been completed”. According to available data from Flightradar24, the YR-ARI was last deployed on May 3, 2023.
The background to the official measure is the recent engine problems. Other carriers are also affected by these. Specifically, it is about the Pratt & Whitney PW1500G, which causes difficulties for many operators. Occasional checks and, if necessary, repairs have to be carried out by Pratt & Whitney, but the US company cannot supply sufficient replacement engines. There have also been delays in maintenance, so that some carriers can no longer operate their machines.
The Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority has now resorted to the ultima ratio, but the fact that there are delivery problems should not be the sole reason. Due to the fact that Iraqi Airways only uses one of four Airbus A220-300 anyway, they would theoretically have « submersible engines » available. However, it is unclear whether the carrier may have exceeded the deadlines set for the manufacturer’s overhaul of the PW1500G, and the prediction could also have « provoked » the official action in some way.
The post Iraq Bans Iraqi Airways from Operating A220-300 first appeared on Aviation.Direct.
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