India grounds all Airbus A320Neos with faulty Pratt & Whitney engines

Mumbai: Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Monday grounded 11 Airbus A320neo (new engine option) aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney engines following instances of glitches, the government-agency said.

Among the 11 Airbus A320neo planes grounded, eight belong to InterGlobe Aviation-operated IndiGo and three to the Wadia Group-run GoAir, DGCA said, adding that the grounded aircraft are currently fitted with a single affected-engine each.

“… keeping the safety of aircraft operations, A320 fitted with PW 1100 engines beyond ESN 450 have been grounded with immediate effect,” the DGCA said in a statement, adding that both IndiGo and GoAir have been asked by the regulators not to refit these engines with spares currently available with airlines.

“DGCA will continue to be in touch with stakeholders and review the situation in due course as and when the issue is addressed by EASA and Pratt & Whitney,” it said.

EASA is the European Aviation Safety Agency that oversees regulatory and executive tasks for civilian aviation safety.

An IndiGo spokesperson said the airline will comply with the DGCA directive and has grounded its aircraft with faulty engines.

“Upon implementation of the directive, IndiGo shall have a total of nine A320neo aircraft on ground,” the IndiGo spokesperson said, adding that affected passengers will be accommodated on other flights on the airline’s network.

A GoAir spokesperson said that the airline has grounded three aircraft following the DGCA directive.

“We don’t know till when these aircraft will be grounded,” the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, Pratt & Whitney in a statement said that the company is working towards minimizing disruption. “The corrective action has been approved and we have already begun to deliver production engines with the upgraded configuration,” the engine maker said, adding that it is working to mitigate the situation by the end of the second quarter.

IndiGo on 13 February said that it has grounded three Airbus A320neo aircraft with P&W engine due to glitches in both engines.

However, IndiGo was then allowed to operate eight aircraft with one affected engine after the regulators DGCA barred them from flying beyond two hours on aircraft operating on a single faulty engine.

According to aircraft manufacturers Airbus, there are about 113 A320neo aircraft with P&W engines in operation worldwide. Some 10% of the total A320neos powered by Pratt & Whitney engines have both engines affected, Airbus said in February.livemint