The firm order for 60 Airbus A220 made by Air France to which are added 60 options and rights to purchase enables the engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney to come back after a long absence. A comeback which enables AFI KLM E&M to further extend its engine MRO competences to the PW1000 family.
The information went unnoticed as the whole world focused on the aircraft model chosen by Air France - KLM to replace its Airbus A318 and A319 fleet. Indeed, the airline chose the Airbus A220 — an item brought back in the medium-haul family of the European manufacturer as the aircraft was originally named after Bombardier CSeries before Airbus could get hold of this program designed and developed by the Canadian manufacturer. With this order of A220s, the U.S. engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney comes back to Air France - KLM after a very very long absence. The Airbus A318 could have been the right occasion to do so as the aircraft was at first solely offered with Pratt & Whitney PW6000. Air France eventually preferred the CFM56. This time is the right time for Pratt & Whitney as Airbus A220s are only powered with its engine PW1500G — a less powerful version than the PW1100 currently offered on the A320neo. This comeback of the engine manufacturer should also benefit to AFI KLM E&M which could further extend its engine MRO expertise also on Pratt & Whitney’s and perhaps become a dedicated MRO workshop. The terms of the order still need to be finalized and the issues related cannot be summarized in the assets of the chosen airplane.