Lufthansa maintenance goes wrong, three workers injured

December 10, 2019




Spirit Airlines 31-strong Airbus A319 fleet appears to have just gotten one airplane short. An A319-100 was seriously damaged while under maintenance and is now in storage.

A Spirit Airlines Airbus A319 was damaged during a heavy check inspection in Lufthansa Technik facility in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, on December 6, 2019. “The left hand wing jack penetrated the wing trailing edge of the aircraft when the plane slipped from the jack,” Lufthansa Technik has confirmed to AeroTime News.

Three workers were slightly injured during the incident, the spokesperson has also confirmed. They were taken to hospital for preventive medical treatment, but released on the same day. One worker has already returned to work.

Lufthansa Technik Puerto Rico is now “in permanent exchange with the customer and the aircraft manufacturer to handle the situation accordingly. LTPR will fully support the quality investigation of the customer to determine the cause of the event.”

Meanwhile, Spirit Airlines has confirmed the incident to AeroTime News, but refrained from giving further comments. “We are aware of the incident and we are working with our partners to find out what happened,” Spirit Airlines spokesperson has stated in an email.

The news about the incident broke out on December 9, 2019, when Sam Chui website published six photos showing the damaged airframe of an Airbus A319 in Spirit Airlines livery.

Spirit Airlines, an ultra-low-cost carrier from the United States, operates an all-Airbus fleet of 143 aircraft, based on data. Among them, it has 31 A319s, the average age of them is a bit over 13 years. The A319-100 in question, registration number N533NK, made its first flight in January 2008. Spirit has been leasing it since February of the same year.

In October 2019, the airline has shaken hands with Airbus to double its current fleet by adding up to 150 A320neo planes. The carrier has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for 100 aircraft, a mix of A319, A320, and A321 models, as well as an option for 50 more. Deliveries are planned through 2027. However, the deal has not yet been firmed up, Airbus order book (as of November 30, 2019) indicates. 

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