Indigo’s cup of woes with its Pratt & Whitney (P&W) engines in its Airbus A320 Neo aircraft is only flowing over. It may turn out that the number of engines to be replaced may now go up to 130 from 110. This is as per the latest statement from the head of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). He said the DGCA had conducted a “more intense boroscopic examination” and arrived at this number. Indigo may have to revisit some of its business plans and the DGCA has already put a hold on the airline opening up new routes. The DGCA head, Arun Kumar has also said that the aviation regulator may wait till January 15 before arriving at a decision if Indigo is to be given a further extension beyond the January 31 deadline that the airline is working on. The other option left with the DGCA will be to order the airline to ground its flights, in the absence of the engines being replaced.
The pressure is equally on the engine maker, Pratt & Whitney in trying to meet the deadline fixed by DGCA to replace the faulty engines. Airbus is also trying to get involved in ensuring that the process is expedited. Indigo happens to be one of the largest customers of Airbus for its A320 Neo series aircraft and would want to make it the best example in the market. With the Boeing 737 Max also facing serious airworthiness issues, Airbus is on the cusp of gaining more customers and orders. Anything going wrong with Indigo may turn out to be a bad advertisement.
The DGCA Chief has also informed that Indigo has adopted an altered take-off routine which ensures that the thrust on the engines is somewhat moderated and the instances of shutting down of the engines mid-flight are brought down.
Incidentally, Indigo has instructed Airbus to fit an alternate make and model of engines for the next batch of aircraft already on order.