Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha on Tuesday said that the government would issue nod to IndiGo and GoAir to resume flights only when it’s completely sure about the engine safety. His statement comes in wake of an order issued by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) ordering IndiGo and GoAir for an immediate grounding of 11 of their Airbus A320 Neo aircraft fitted with a particular series of Pratt and Whitney PW1100 engine type. “It’s difficult to predict when there will be a full remedy, but need to be 200 percent sure before giving the nod to fly,” CNBC TV18 reported citing Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha. In view of safety of aircraft operations and recent instances of in-flight shutdown, DGCA on 12 March ordered that both airlines immediately ground planes with with PW1100 engines beyond ESN 450. “Since weather conditions are different in India from Europe, due diligence should be taken by the company,” Jayant Sinha said. He also said that the engine-maker and IndiGo and GoAir are working to make adequate remedies.
Meanwhile, IndiGo cancelled 47 flights on Tuesday post DGCA order to ground eight A320Neo planes with faulty Pratt & Whitney engines. The three other aircrafts which belong to GoAir have also been asked to ground the planes with an immediate effect. “IndiGo has cancelled certain flights due to the grounding of our aircraft further to the DGCA directions which has been issued in the interest of safety,” IndiGo issued a statement on its website. Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Patna, Srinagar, Bhubaneswar, Amritsar, Srinagar and Guwahati, among others are some of the flight routes which have been cancelled.
The budget carrier IndiGo operates nearly 1,000 flights on a daily basis accounting for 40 percent of domestic flyers. GoAir accounts for a 10 percent market share. Just days back, an emergency landing was made by an IndiGo Airbus A-320 new engine option (Neo) aircraft only minutes after taking off due a failure of engine. However, the 186 passengers on-board were reported to be safe in the accident.