IndiGo, GoAir may get more time to replace engines of A320neos

Mumbai | Published: November 14, 2019 4:13:13 AM

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will review its earlier directive to IndiGo and GoAir to replace at least one of the two engines in 36 identified A320neos fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines, which have operated for over 2,900 hours.

The civil aviation authority may give the airlines more time to comply with the directive.

By Anwesha Ganguly

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will review its earlier directive to IndiGo and GoAir to replace at least one of the two engines in 36 identified A320neos fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines, which have operated for over 2,900 hours. The civil aviation authority may give the airlines more time to comply with the directive.

GoAir was given till November 13 and IndiGo till November 19 to replace at least one of the engines. Failing to comply with the order would result in the planes being grounded, the DGCA had said.

“The airlines have substantially done it (complied with the order) and therefore,we will grant them some more time to finish the task. GoAir has replaced an engine on eight of the 13 identified aircraft and for the rest, we are assessing the feasibility and will decide the fresh timeline by Friday. As of now,we do not intend to ground them (GoAir),” a DGCA official told FE. He added that the DGCA will also review the safety issues of the Airbus A320neos fitted with unmodified Pratt & Whitney engines.

Earlier this month, the DGCA had issued a directive asking IndiGo to replace both low-pressure-turbine (LPT) engines of the 97 Airbus A320neos fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines, which are currently in its fleet, by January 31, 2020. The directive had followed four instances of flights turning back or engine shut-downs during the flight of IndiGo A320neo aircraft fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines in October. In one of the instances, the engine of the Pune-bound aircraft reportedly had stalled with a loud banging noise and experienced vibrations.

“In case it is not done, such aircraft shall not be allowed to fly with unmodified engines. You may like to stagger or defer your future induction plan and procure sufficient number of modified engines to keep the existing fleet in operation,” the DGCA had told IndiGo in the directive.

Officials at the DGCA had met representatives of American aerospace manufacturer, Pratt & Whitney, earlier this month, urging the company to cooperate with the airlines to make the requisite engine replacements. The A320neos fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines have been riddled with problems including gearbox failures, combustion chamber distress, engine vibration and low-pressure turbine failures since last year.

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