Monday, 25 June, 2018

DGCA bans 11 A320 neo aircraft over technical snag

India aviation regulator orders grounding of 11 jets fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines India aviation regulator orders grounding of 11 jets fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines
Orlando Vargas | 13 March, 2018, 11:47

Citing safety of aircraft operations, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation in its order Monday said A320Neos fitted with P&W1100 engines were "grounded with immediate effect".

The DGCA has also asked IndiGo and GoAir not to refill these engines which are spare with them in their inventory. The Gurugram-based IndiGo cancelled 47 of its 1,000-odd flights per day, the Wadia Group-promoted GoAir said it had cancelled 18 flights.

IndiGo and GoAir have been forced to cancel at least 70 flights on Tuesday after the DGCA grounded its their flights due to a recurring malfunction in their engines. In a press brief released by DGCA, three cases of an in-flight shutdown of A320neos fitted with one affected PW1100 engine that has been reported.

A spokesman for budget airline GoAir, also said it grounded three such aircraft following the regulator's order.

Clarifying its position, Pratt & Whitney in a statement said, "We are working closely with our customers to minimise disruption. We don't consider these safe, technical analysis is underway & these engines can only be used when we consider it safe". That's not acceptable, according to the DGCA, which said the manufacturer had "no concrete proposal in place at this stage".

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It added that the "aircraft on ground situation" may take until Q2 to be resolved.

DGCA directions are issued in the interest of safety. Of the 11 newly grounded Indian aircraft, as many as five may be able to recommence flying by swapping engines between affected planes.

In February European plane maker Airbus SE warned of new problems with the Pratt & Whitney engines on its A320neo planes, prompting European air safety officials to issue emergency restrictions (See: Airbus warns of new Pratt & Whitney engine problem).

Out of them, 32 are with IndiGo and 13 are with GoAir.

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