Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Business | By Kate Woods

India grounds all Airbus A320 neo jets with faulty Pratt engines

India grounds all Airbus A320 neo jets with faulty Pratt engines

The Gurugram-based IndiGo cancelled 47 of its 1,000-odd flights per day, the Wadia Group-promoted GoAir said it had cancelled 18 flights.

After an immediate order of Directorate General of Civil of Aviation (DGCA) to ground eleven A320Neo planes with faulty Pratt&Whitneyengines, which includes eight IndiGo and three GoAir planes, low-priced airline IndiGo has cancelled as many as 47 flights on Tuesday. The final incident that pushed DGCA, the civil aviation watchdog, into action occurred early on Monday morning, when the right engine of an IndiGo A320neo aircraft, packed to capacity with 186 passengers and crew, failed mid-air on way from Ahmedabad to Lucknow.

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In February, the USA aviation regulator said the Pratt & Whitney engines pose a shutdown risk, following similar action by European regulators that month. IndiGo grounded three A320neos following a directive from the European aviation safety agency in February, which took the total number of grounded 180-seater A320neos in India to 14. "No aircraft with engines facing trouble will take off till issue completely resolved".

However, in a statement, an IndiGo spokesperson said the airline will ground six aircraft, in addition to the three that were pulled out of operation last month after the EASA directive. The order applied to eight IndiGo flights and three of GoAir, The Economic Times reported.

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Citing safety of aircraft operations, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said, A320 Neos fitted with PW1100 engines beyond ESN 450 have been grounded with immediate effect.

The glitch is said to be in the knife-edge compressor seal in the turbine and the firm has said that it would replace the components. EASA ordered that A320neos with two affected engines should be grounded, while those with only one can continue to fly.

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"We are working closely with our customers to minimise disruption. We are working to mitigate the Aircraft on Ground (AOG) situation by the end of the second quarter". GoAir has 13 such planes. IndiGo released a statement on the DGCA's decision saying, "We are in receipt of the communication from the DGCA and we shall promptly comply with the directions of the DGCA".

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