Grounded IndiGo, GoAir Jets Will Fly Again By April, Says Engine-Maker

A series of in-flight engine failures had prompted the aviation regulator DGCA to order the immediate grounding of Airbus A320neo aircraft fitted with certain Pratt & Whitney (P&W) engines

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Grounded IndiGo, GoAir Jets Will Fly Again By April, Says Engine-Maker

Pratt & Whitney engine issue: IndiGo cancelled over 400 flights this month in its flying calendar


New Delhi:  Grounded passenger jets of no-frills airlines IndiGo and GoAir will take to the skies again by April-end, the president of the American plane engine-maker Pratt & Whitney has said.

A series of in-flight engine failures had prompted the aviation regulator DGCA on March 12 to order the immediate grounding of Airbus A320neo aircraft fitted with certain Pratt & Whitney (P&W) engines.

"You may have seen that the Indian authorities took a decision to ground the fleet in India that have engines of this... We're disappointed with that decision, but I can tell you that by the end of April, that fleet will be back up in the air flying in India," Pratt & Whitney president Robert F Leduc said during an interaction with United Technologies Corporation's (UTC) investors. P&W is a subsidiary of UTC.

"So I think the three key points that you should take away is we're back in production, we're going to retrofit and rework the 55 engines that we shipped previously back to Airbus. We will make our full year production commitment to Airbus," Mr Leduc said.

Eight aircraft operated by IndiGo and three by GoAir are affected by the directive from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). 

On March 15, IndiGo and GoAir posted a curtailed flight schedule on their websites, saying they won't operate over 600 flights between March 15 and March 31. Of this, IndiGo has cancelled 488 flights.
 
go air

Three Airbus A320neo of GoAir have been affected by the DGCA's directive

"We have a commitment to them. There's still a certain amount of engines to support their aircraft delivery profile. We will make those deliveries. Admittedly, the timing is a little bit skewed because of the first quarter and having to rework engines, but we will catch that up primarily by the end of the third quarter. The fleet will be completely back in the sky by the end of April," the P&W president said.

On March 12, a flight operated by IndiGo experienced a technical glitch with one of its engines. It was forced to return to Ahmedabad airport, the airline owned by InterGlobe Aviation had said in a statement. DGCA said there had been three such incidents in 2018 - two involving IndiGo and one with an GoAir aircraft.

The affected engine, PW1100, has a seal that causes vibrations and the issue had frequently led to in-service shutdowns, the DGCA has said.

In February, the US aviation regulator said the P&W engines pose a shutdown risk, following similar action by European regulators that month.

With inputs from agencies


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