Aviation watchdog DGCA has directed budget carrier IndiGo to fix all of its A320neo engines following multiple incidents of mid-air stallings.
Aviation watchdog DGCA has directed budget carrier IndiGo to fix all of its A320neo engines following multiple incidents of mid-air stallings. The DGCA has also threatened grounding of an entire fleet of A320neo consisting 97 planes if they are not fixed before 31 January 2020, according to news channels. In an earlier communication, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation had asked the airline to replace engines of 16 A320neos. Further to this, the aviation regulator has given a deadline of November 19 to fix total 23 A320neos on an immediate basis.
Earlier this week, DGCA had taken cognizance of the long-standing issue of engine failures of Pratt & Whitney company and along with IndiGo, it had asked GoAir to fix them. Both of these airlines were given a 15-day period to replace the engines failing which the A320neos are bound to be grounded. In previous week itself, three of IndiGo’s planes, which are fitted with Pratt and Whitney engines, stalled on October 24, 25 and 26 after which they were brought back to their departure ports. However, IndiGo’s woes with Pratt & Whitney-powered A320neo aircraft is not new and has actually been present for many years now. The airline has grounded several planes in the past as well due to this. IndiGo now runs about half of the 97 Neo fleet with modified engines; the rest still run on troubled P&Ws.
Meanwhile, India’s aviation sector already faces a flight crunch following Boeing 737 MAX crash of a plane of Ethiopian Airline and then shutting down of Jet Airways. The sector has also been a victim of slow passenger growth as there was no capacity addition to cater to demand.
IndiGo has recently placed a fresh order for 300 aircraft which will be an assortment of A320neo, A321neo and A321XLR. However, the airline has not yet decided on the engine. IndiGo is the market leader in domestic aviation with about 1 in every 2 passengers flown by IndiGo. With IndiGo’s latest addition of 300 planes, the airline will have over 700 planes in its fleet, all belonging to Airbus.