DGCA grounds 11 GoAir, IndiGo aircraft with faulty engines

Andrew Cummings
March 13, 2018

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.

On 9 February, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) had issued an emergency airworthiness directive for A320neo planes fitted with PW1100 engines having a particular serial number.

The grounded planes, including the one that had a mid-air failure, all have Neo engines. That's not acceptable, according to the Indian regulator, which said the manufacturer had "no concrete proposal in place at this stage".

However, in a late evening statement, IndiGo said it will have to ground only six aircraft. Later that day, IndiGo said it had grounded three Airbus A320 neo aircraft with Pratt & Whitney engines due to glitches in both engines.

After EASA highlighted the problem last month, three incidents of in-flight shutdowns of these engines were recorded - on a GoAir flight from Leh on February 24, on an IndiGo flight from Mumbai on March 5, and on the IndiGo flight from Ahmedabad on Monday.

"Keeping in mind the safety of aircraft operations, Airbus 320 neos fitted with PW 1100 engines beyond ESN 450 have been grounded with immediate effect".

IndiGo and GoAir have been forced to cancel at least 70 flights on Tuesday after the DGCA grounded its their flights due to a recurring malfunction in their engines. The directive followed instances of the engines shutting down during flights and rejecting take-offs involving the A320neo family aircraft.

Pratt & Whitney said in an emailed statement that it's working closely with customers to minimize disruption and has already begun to deliver engines with the "upgraded configuration".

It added that the "aircraft on ground situation" may take until Q2 to be resolved. Apart from IndiGo, three GoAir aircraft have also been grounded by the DGCA's ruling. 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". The airlines have promised to accommodate the affected passengers in other aircraft but there will be a change in their schedule.

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