The delivery schedule of Airbus A320neo planes will not be affected in the long run due to the Pratt & Whitney engine issues, faced by IndiGo and GoAir, the aircraft manufacturer said today. “The engine issues are unfortunate. It is obvious that the engine you are talking about has had some teething problems. I do not see that overtime this will largely impact our deliveries,” CEO Airbus Tom Enders said.
The government is conducting a review of the snags faced by Pratt & Whitney (P&W) engines of Airbus 320neo (new engine option) planes, operated by IndiGo and GoAir in India. Civil aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has asked the US engine maker to address the issues within a “specified time”. “This is something we are working on with the airline customers, the engine makers and the Indian authorities,” he said.
At present, there are 21 A320neo planes of IndiGo and GoAir that are powered by P&W engines that have been frequently facing technical snags. Airbus also said that it was confident that the demand for its planes will grow in the near future. “We are, so far, focused on single-aisle aircraft but I am absolutely sure that over time there will also be a shift to the entire product range including our new and efficient long-range planes,” the Airbus CEO said. “The year-on-year growth rate of 10 per cent in the Indian aviation sector is amazing and we are predicting that this growth rate will continue for the next two decades. This means a need for many more aircraft–single aisle–but increasingly long-range aircraft as well,” said Enders.
Last month, two A320neo planes of budget carrier GoAir made emergency landings due to the engine issues. In January, an IndiGo plane had to abort take-off at the last minute at Mumbai airport after one of its engines developed snag during taxiing. Following these incidents, the DGCA had directed IndiGo and GoAir to carry out inspections of the engines once they complete 1,000 hours of flying, instead of 1,500 hours as recommended by P&W. The civil aviation watchdog has also called for repeat inspections every 500 hours thereafter.