Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

India grounds all Airbus A320Neo jets with faulty Pratt engine

India grounds all Airbus A320Neo jets with faulty Pratt engine

The aircraft was travelling from Ahmedabad to Lucknow. These included GoAir A-320 Neo (VT-WGB) after take-off from Leh on February 24; IndiGo A-320 Neo (VT-ITJ) after take-off from Mumbai on March 5 and IndiGo A-320 Neo (VT-ITA) after take-off from Ahmedabad on March 12.

The aviation regulator on Monday grounded 11 A320neo aircraft - eight operated by IndiGo and three by GoAir - after another mid-air engine failure magnified safety concerns that have dogged one of the most popular, fuel-efficient, medium-range planes in the world. "In view of the above, and keeping in mind the safety of aircraft operations, A320neos fitted with PW1100 engines beyond engine serial number 450 have been grounded with immediate effect".

The Indian decision was a "unilateral" one with which EASA wasn't involved, the European agency said in an emailed statement, adding that a complete grounding "is not deemed necessary for the time being".

The directive followed instances of the engines shut-down during flights and rejected take-offs involving the A320 neo family aircraft. "We are working to mitigate the AOG situation by the end of the second quarter". "ESN" stands for "engine serial number". We have complied immediately.

The airlines, however, did not give any details of the cancellations or the number of passengers hit but said they are making all possible arrangements to minimise the impact.

"We are in receipt of the communication from the DGCA and we shall promptly comply with the directions of the DGCA". Upon implementation of the directive, IndiGo shall have a total of nine A320neo aircraft on ground. The airlines have also apologised for the inconvenience caused to affected passengers and clarified that the affected passengers would be accommodated on other flights on our network.

Choubey said the regulator has put in place enhanced safety checks and was satisfied with the measures with respect to the issue of oil chip detection - an issue that had plagued A320 neos powered by P&W engines.

Three IndiGo planes were already on the ground following similar engine problems since February. IndiGo and GoAir have ordered hundreds of A-320 Neos with P&W engines and are taking up the issue with the manufacturer and Airbus.

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