Grounding of Airbus 320 neos a proactive decision: Jayant Sinha

NEW DELHI: As IndiGo and GoAir cancelled 59 flights post grounding of 11 aircraft with new series engines, junior aviation minister Jayant Sinha termed the decision taken by them as a proactive decision.

“On A320neo, we have taken the first step which no other regulator has. No other regulator is following neo engines as closely as we have. We are the first ones to fully ground post 450 engines so that shows how vigilant we are and how proactive we are on safety issues and how carefully we monitor all safety issues we have to deal with,” Sinha said at an AIMA conference this morning.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Monday ordered immediate grounding of 11 aircraft operated by IndiGo and GoAir due to safety issues with the new series of Pratt & Whitney 1100 engines that power the Airbus 320neos.

This led to cancellation of 65 flights on Tuesday causing inconvenience to passengers despite airlines saying that they made arrangements to reduce inconvenience to passengers, mostly by accommodating them on other flights.

Cancellation of flights, though, also led to an up to 10% increase in last-minute fares on Tuesday and the trend is likely to continue on Wednesday as well.

Between them, IndiGo and GoAir operate 58 Airbus 320neo aircraft, including the ones that have been grounded. The grounding of aircraft with defective engines is also likely to impact expansion plans of the two airlines, as Pratt & Whitney said cure for the defective engines would come by only June.

Prabhu, at the AIMA conference, said that the aviation sector, with the growth that it is seeing, is going to be the job generator in the future. economictimes

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