IndiGo Withdraws Three A320 Neo Planes From Service Over Engine Alert

Peter Castro
February 15, 2018

Mumbai: The aviation regulator DGCA has ruled out grounding the Pratt & Whitney-powered Airbus A320Neo fleet despite the recurring serious safety issues with the faulty new engines.

An issue with some engines built by Pratt &Whitney could ground some Airbus planes and limit how long others can fly. "As soon as IndiGo learnt of these developments, IndiGo had proactively withdrawn the three A320neo aircraft from service w.e.f. 9th of February", the airline had said in a statement on Saturday.

Last summer, Pratt & Whitney reported it had more than 8,000 GTF engines on order, not only for Airbus customers but for buyers of Bombardier and Embraer jets, too. It put the European planemaker on the map three decades ago, allowing the company to go from a speck in Boeing Co's rear-view mirror to powerful equal in what has become a de-facto duopoly in the global civil-aircraft market.

"Airbus and Pratt are working in close cooperation and will be swiftly communicating on the way forward to regain normal operations and resume aircraft deliveries", spokesman Jasra said.

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Gregory Hayes, chief executive officer of UTC, told industry analysts on a conference call January 24 that Pratt & Whitney shipped 374 geared turbofan engines in 2017, the midpoint of its 350 to 400 target, and almost triple the number of shipments in 2016. Pratt & Whitney is working with Airbus to implement the remediation plans set forth in its all operator transmission.

Indicating that the delay on deliveries may prolong, the company said that the deliveries can begin only after regulatory authorities address its proposed solution.

Neither the aircraft manufacturer nor the agency disclosed what airlines are operating aircraft with affected engines. "Customers have been informed and PW and us are in contact with the airlines to minimise any disruption", Airbus said in response to an e-mail query sent by The Indian Express. Eleven planes are now, according to the source, grounded the time to change the engines.

IndiGo and GoAir are the two domestic carriers that operate A320 neo planes powered with P&W engines. Both airlines did not respond to a query sent by The Times of India. "The current population of impacted engines is 43 engines installed on 32 aircraft, of which 21 aircraft have one engine with the modified configuration, and 11 aircraft have two engines with that configuration". "This means a minimum of one engine needs to be changed on these aircraft".

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