IndiGo will take delivery of its A321 neo aircraft, which are more fuel efficient and have higher seating capacity, this year, a senior official said today. Against the backdrop of the airline facing issues with Pratt & Whitney engines powering its A320 neo fleet, officials of InterGlobe Aviation said the technical issues are under control and improvements are being initiated.
InterGlobe operates IndiGo.
“We will take delivery of our first A321 neo aircraft over the end of the year. These are the longer version of the A320s we currently operate with higher seating capacity. “… what we are planning right now is taking one extra fuel tank which makes it a six-hour airplane, we can fly in six hours. We think that is going to bring lot of opportunities to international flight, that is part of our growth plans,” Greg Taylor, a senior official at InterGlobe, said.
InterGlobe’s Chief Operating Officer Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said that on A320 neo planes, it has full confidence. “All the technical issues are completely under control, improvements have been initiated. The aircraft with these engines are safe to fly,” he added.
Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting here, he said, “when you hear an aircraft is grounded means it is a planned action to put an aircraft out of service to change an engine because we know some engines are to be exchanged after certain period of time”.
“This is a process well established,” he said against the backdrop of the airline grounding six aircraft since July due to P&W engine issues.
At present, IndiGo has a fleet of more than 170 aircraft, including 40 A320 neo planes.
During February and March this year, 14 planes — 11 of IndiGo and three of GoAir — were taken out of operations due to P&W engine issues on the directions of the aviation regulator after a series of mid-air shut downs were reported by the two carriers. In the 2017 June quarter, IndiGo grounded nine A320 neo planes due to engine issues.