IndiGo, GoAir Cancel 65 flights as DGCA grounds aircraft with faulty engines

Dianna Christensen
March 13, 2018

The assembled fuselage of an Airbus A320 narrow-body passenger twin-engine jet airliner moves across the Airbus SE factory floor in Hamburg, Germany.

India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) ordered the grounding of 11 A320neos, eight at IndiGo and three from GoAir. "We are working to mitigate the Aircraft on Ground (AOG) situation by the end of the second quarter", it added.

The two airlines have been directed not to "retrofit" such engines on to any existing aircraft.

In February, the USA aviation regulator said the Pratt & Whitney engines pose a shutdown risk, following similar action by European regulators that month. These included GoAir A-320 Neo (VT-WGB) after take-off from Leh on February 24; IndiGo A-320 Neo (VT-ITJ) after take-off from Mumbai on March 5 and IndiGo A-320 Neo (VT-ITA) after take-off from Ahmedabad on March 12.

Of the 14 A320 neo aircraft fitted with the specific series of engines, 11 are operated by IndiGo and three by GoAir, have now been grounded. The aircraft "experienced [a] technical glitch with its Number 2 engine", says the carrier.

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Indigo is India's largest passenger airline, with a market share of 39.4 percent as of November 2017, and is also one of the largest operators of the A320neo variant. Not all of them are fitted with that particular series of Pratt & Whitney engines. All defective components would be replaced by early June, requiring some planes to fly with one affected engine for nearly three more months. The flight crew carried out actions as per SOP and landed back at Ahmedabad following precautionary measures. On Monday too, hundreds of passengers were stranded across the country as dozens of flights were cancelled by IndiGo and GoAir, reported PTI. As many as seven departures were delayed.

"We must give the highest priority to safety".

"Since the grounding is with immediate effect, it has sent our operations for a toss".

"While we understand that this may cause inconvenience to some of our passengers, given that we have multiple flights to the same destination, we are proactively re-accommodating all our affected passengers on other flights", it added.

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