The DGCA has asked Pratt & Whitney to expedite the supply of engines to India as many of the A320 neo planes operated by IndiGo and GoAir have been grounded due to issues related to its engines, a senior official said today. The P&W engines powering these aircraft have been facing issues related to bearing and combustion. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) earlier this month reviewed the progress made by P&W in fixing the engine issues during a meeting which was attended by representatives from the US engine maker, aircraft major Airbus as well as from IndiGo and GoAir. The progress made by P&W to fix the issues of No 3 bearing failure and combustion chamber failure on PW1100 engine leading to grounding of A320 neo planes was discussed at the meeting, a senior DGCA official said.
“If India is giving you (P&W) so much business, when the new engines come, (DGCA has asked them that) you allocate it to India and that they have promised. By end of September, they will bring things to normal,” he said. Eight A320 neo (new engine option) aircraft of IndiGo that are powered by P&W engines are grounded while one or two operated by GoAir’s are also grounded, he said. IndiGo and GoAir have placed large orders for A320 neo planes.
The DGCA will be getting an update from P&W in October about the progress in fixing the engine issues, the official said. He said there is “no safety issue” with regard to P&W engines but if many planes are getting grounded, then the integrity of schedule of airlines gets affected.
In March, the watchdog had asked the leading engine maker to fix the issues related to its engines powering A320 neo planes flown by the Indian carriers within a specified time. A month earlier, the regulator had also directed IndiGo and GoAir to conduct inspections of the P&W engines once they complete 1,000 hours of flying, instead of 1,500 hours as recommended by the engine maker. Further, the DGCA had sought repeat inspections every 500 hours thereafter. These directions had come after multiple incidents involving A320 neo planes, including emergency landings, due to problems with P&W engines.