Budget carrier IndiGo’s woes have further compounded with as many as five of its aircraft— three A320 Neos and two A320 Ceo (current engine option) planes–facing glitches in the last 24 hours, resulting in the grounding of an A320 Neo. With this, IndiGo now has as many as 12 A320 Neos on the ground. As of now, the Gurugram-based carrier has been grappling with problems in A320 Neos powered by Pratt & Whitney engines since last June, with 11 of them already grounded due to safety concerns.
IndiGo in a statement today said it detected five technical snags in five planes and of these only one aircraft has been grounded. The rest four aircraft are back in operations. An A320 (non-Neo) aircraft with VT-INZ registration and operating on Cochin-Mumbai route and another A320 (non- Neo) aircraft bearing VT-IFU registration operating on the Mumbai-Goa sector, had technical snag detected during departure, IndiGo said.
Both these aircraft were immediately withdrawn for rectification and are now back in the sky, it added. In another incident, another A320 Neo plane, which was to operate on the Jammu-Srinagar route yesterday was grounded in Jammu due to a hydraulic leakage from one of the engines. “The aircraft remained on ground till this afternoon. The fault could be fixed only after the spares were flown in from New Delhi and it was put back into operations,” a Jammu airport source said.
Earlier yesterday, the airline had to pull out one of its A320 Neos from operations after landing in New Delhi from Bengaluru after metal chips were detected in the engine oil and another aircraft reported hydraulic leakage at the Srinagar airport. These five incidents in within 24 hrs come days after the aviation regulator DGCA had grounded 11 A320 Neos fitted with P&W engines of a particular series, belonging to IndiGo and GoAir.
The regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had on March 12 ordered the grounding of 11 A320 Neos fitted with P&W1100 engines of ESN 450 series due to recurring problems, including mid-air shutdowns. Of these, eight are of IndiGo and the rest GoAir’s. Another three A320 Neos of IndiGo are already on the ground since February.