Mid-air glitches: DGCA orders IndiGo, GoAir to replace PW engines of A30Neo aircraft within 15 days

The official said there are 13 aircraft in GoAir fleet in which both the PW engines have been used for more than 3,000 hours.

FP Staff October 29, 2019 11:10:12 IST
Mid-air glitches: DGCA orders IndiGo, GoAir to replace PW engines of A30Neo aircraft within 15 days
  • There are 13 aircraft in the airline's fleet in which both the PW engines have been used for more than 3,000 hours

  • The PW engine-powered A320 neo planes in the fleets of IndiGo and GoAir have been facing glitches since their induction way back in 2016

  • The DGCA said on 28 August that about 40% of the domestic seat capacity in India is powered by PW engines

Civil aviation regulator DGCA on Tuesday asked budget carriers IndiGo and GoAir to replace their A320Neo aircraft's PW engines within the next 15 days or face grounding of airplanes.

InterGlobe Aviation-led IndiGo has as many as 16 Airbus A320neo aircraft fitted with Pratt & Whitney (PW) engines while GoAir has 13 PW engine-powered A320 neo planes in its fleet.

IndiGo’s planes fitted with Pratt & Whitney 1100 series engines that have clocked more than 2,900 hours must have at least one modified engine, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in a statement.

Midair glitches DGCA orders IndiGo GoAir to replace PW engines of A30Neo aircraft within 15 days

Representational image. Reuters

Similarly, the 13 aircraft owned by GoAir have to be fitted with at least one modified PW low-pressure turbine engine within the next 15 days, DGCA official told PTI.

The official said there are 13 aircraft in GoAir fleet in which both the PW engines have been used for more than 3,000 hours.

Meanwhile, IndiGo said that it would co-operate with the authorities and would comply with the next course of action, reported Reuters.

IndiGo is Airbus’ biggest client for the A320neo planes and while the United Technologies’ PW engines are fuel-efficient they have consistently caused issues since they entered into service in 2016, forcing IndiGo to ground its planes several times.

The DGCA said it found three in-flight engine shutdowns on the planes in October following which it reviewed maintenance and safety data at the airline.

The PW engine-powered A320 neo planes in the fleets of the two airlines — IndiGo and GoAir — have been facing glitches both mid-air and on-ground since their induction way back in 2016, which has also led to grounding of some planes.

A PW spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday, "Pratt & Whitney is working in coordination with our airline customers to incorporate upgrades improving the durability of the low-pressure turbine in the PW1100G-JM fleet to address a known issue."

"We certified hardware improvements which are incorporated into all new production engines and during planned maintenance visits. We are committed to supporting our customers to ensure minimal disruption during the fleet retrofit," the spokesperson added.

Since entering service in 2016, GTF (geared turbo fan) engines have achieved more than 4 million flight hours of passenger service while providing significant fuel efficiency, noise and emissions benefits, the PW spokesperson said.

The DGCA said on 28 August that about 40 percent of the domestic seat capacity in India is powered by PW engines and, therefore, any knee-jerk reaction to completely shut their operations will have serious consequences.

As on 28 August, IndiGo and GoAir had 92 and 35 A320neo aircraft powered by PW engines in India.

Earlier this year, the DGCA had directed airlines to make extra checks on their A320neo aircraft fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines as part of new safety protocols after temporary grounding orders affected the planes last year.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date:

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