The aviation regulator told IndiGo that for every new A320Neo aircraft it adds to its fleet, it would have to ground an old A320Neo aircraft with unmodified engines.

Money Aviation Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - 13:43

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued a warning to the Indian carrier IndiGo that its efforts to change the Pratt & Whitney engines in its Airbus A320 Neo aircraft was not satisfactory. As per a report in Livemint, the aviation regulator has given time till January 2020 to change the faulty engines in all its 98 aircraft identified by DGCA and ordered to be replaced. If IndiGo fails to meet this deadline, then one may witness a large number of its planes being grounded and the flight schedules disrupted.

DGCA usually approves the schedules submitted by the all the airlines on a six-monthly basis. IndiGo’s schedule for the October 2019-March 2020 has been approved based on the assumption that the aircrafts assigned to fly within this schedule would all have the modified P&W engines and not run on the faulty engines. The present warning issued by the DGCA says if IndiGo has not changed the engines in these aircraft and still flying it will be forced to take action against the airline.

For the record, it is learnt that the number of aircraft operated by IndiGo comprise 91 Airbus A320Neo and 7 Airbus A321Neo. All these 98 aircraft are run on the P&W engines. So far, the airline, with the help of the engine maker P&W, has replaced one of the two engines and that too only in 23 aircraft. The company is also adding more aircraft to its fleet as and when the deliveries are being made by Airbus. These are supposed to be fitted with the modified P&W engines and therefore no hitch in flying them. It got one aircraft recently. The DGCA says the airline has to ground one aircraft with the faulty engines as soon as it inducts a new one.

DGCA wants this process to be continued till all the aircraft engines stand replaced. The modification in the engines appears to be carried out at by Pratt & Whitney and IndiGo claims it is working with the company as well as the aircraft suppler Airbus to expedite the process in order to meet the deadline set by the DGCA. There have been reports of engine-related incidents in the recent past with both IndiGo and GoAir, the only two airlines in India that fly the Airbus A320Neo and A321Neo series aircraft in India. DGCA has taken note of these and the current warning to IndiGo is part of its efforts at preventing any more such incidents.