Fake Engine Parts Found in Delta Planes as Scandal Spreads to Four US Airlines

Delta claims it's found the counterfeit components in less than 1% of the 2,100 engines in its mainline fleet.
Delta Air Lines technician inspects a jet engine
Delta Air Lines

Over the Summer, a British aerospace parts distributor was found to have sold dozens of uncertified engine parts to airlines around the globe. The safety-critical parts are suspected to have made their way into as many as 96 planes worldwide, with three United States airlines confirming they had used the parts. Now, a fourth has raised its hand, with Delta Air Lines announcing it too has discovered the dubious parts in its planes.

In a statement issued to Fortune, Delta stated it had found the problematic parts in “a small number” of its airplanes during service by a contracted third party. Delta reportedly did not specify which parts were discovered, nor the number of planes or engines they were found in. However, Delta is reported to have said it found them in less than one percent of the 2,100 engines in its mainline fleet—though that may still mean up to about 20 engines.

Delta Air Lines de-icing a Boeing 757-200 in Minnesota
Delta Air Lines de-icing a Boeing 757-200 in Minnesota. Delta Air Lines

Delta also reportedly didn’t disclose whether the engines were used in passenger service. This suggests that they were, as Delta would likely state outright if they weren’t. Nevertheless, the airline reportedly confirmed that it is not operating any planes with the counterfeit parts, and that passenger service is unaffected.

Delta is now the fourth U.S. airline after American, Southwest, and United to discover uncertified parts from AOG Technics in its planes. The British supplier forged certification documents, selling potentially subpar engine parts that might bring down a plane if they failed. The parts were designed for use in the widely used CFM International CFM56 turbofan, which commonly powers the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737. The parts have also been found far afield in Virgin Australia planes.

AOG Technics reportedly faces a legal probe, and has been ordered to submit records documenting every sale of parts.

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