All 14 Pratt & Whitney engine-powered Airbus A320 Neo planes of the two budget carriers — IndiGo and GoAir — which were grounded between February and March this year due to safety concerns are now back into operation, officials said. Of these 14 planes, 11 were of IndiGo and three of the Wadia group-promoted GoAir. None of the 11 A320 Neo planes fitted with P&W engines which were taken out of operation due to the engine glitches are now on ground. All these planes are back into service, an IndiGo official said today.
A GoAir official also said that its three Airbus A 320 Neos which were grounded by the regulator DGCA on March 12 are now flying again. However, spokespersons of both IndiGo and GoAir were not available for comments. In February, three IndiGo aircraft, with both faulty engines, were grounded. This followed the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issuing an emergency airworthiness directive on February 9 after a few occurrences of aborted take-off and in-flight shut down on A320 Neo fleet worldwide.
On March 12, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) ordered grounding of 11 A320 Neo planes fitted with faulty P&W 1100 engines having serial number of 450 and beyond, citing safety concerns. The DGCA cracked the whip after an IndiGo flight bound for Lucknow returned to Ahmedabad within 40 minutes of getting airborne due to a mid-air engine failure on March 12. Following the grounding of the aircraft, while IndiGo cancelled a total of 776 flights between March 13 and April 2, GoAir did not operate 336 flights during the period.
Earlier this month, government had informed Parliament that 11 of these 14 A320 Neo aircraft had started flying again after change of engine. “As of now, 11 of the 14 grounded aircraft have started flying after changing the engines,” Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on April 5.
Pratt & Whitney President Robert F Leduc had said last month that the grounded aircraft of IndiGo and GoAir will be back in operation by April-end.