Volga-Dnepr gets US approval for 777X engine charters

Russia’s Volga-Dnepr Airlines received an emergency exemption from the U.S. Department of Transportation for up to three AN-124-100 freighter charter flights between Columbus Rickenbacker Airport (LCK) and Everett (PAE), Seattle (SEA) or Spokane (GEG), in support of Boeing’s 777X production.

The charters, which began yesterday with a flight between LCK and PAE and may continue through Sept. 19, will transport outsized GE9X engines to remedy a “Boeing B777X production line stoppage created by engine testing and delivery delays,” according to a notice issued yesterday by the DOT.

According to FlightGlobal, GE Aviation recalled the GE9X engines over engine compressor issues. The issue was disclosed by GE Aviation at the Paris air show and contributed to a “first flight” delay of the 777X to early 2020. In Boeing’s second-quarter 2019 results, the company said while it is still targeting late 2020 for the first delivery of the 777X, “there is significant risk to this schedule given engine challenges.”

Twitter user @mattcawby shared photos of an engine on its way to being loaded on a Volga-Dnepr AN-124, as seen below.

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