IndiGo grounds three A320 neo planes on engine woes

Feb 10, 2018, 18:10 IST | PTI

No-frills airline IndiGo on Saturday said it has grounded three A320 neo aircraft due to engine problems, which also resulted in cancellation of some flights

Representational picture

No-frills airline IndiGo on Saturday said it has grounded three A320 neo aircraft due to engine problems, which also resulted in cancellation of some flights. The grounded aircraft are powered by Pratt & Whitney engines and the move follows a directive from European aviation safety regulator EASA. This is the second occasion when the airline has been forced to ground planes on account of P&W engine problems.

Last year, the carrier had to ground a few aircraft and they began flying again after the issues were fixed. A senior official at the Directorate General of Civil
Aviation (DGCA) said that EASA on Friday issued an emergency airworthiness directive for A320 neo planes fitted with PW1100 engines having a particular serial number. The directive came in the wake of instances of the engine's in-flight shut-downs and rejected take-offs involving A320 neo family planes, the official added.

Airbus has also issued an alert for providing instructions to de-pair the affected engines and discontinue extended range twin-engine operations for aircraft fitted with affected engines. The DGCA official said IndiGo has three such aircraft, which have been grounded. Further, the official noted that the latest issue is
different from the problems experienced by IndiGo's A320 neos earlier and those have been addressed. In a statement, IndiGo said it had pro-actively withdrawn the three A320 neo aircraft from service from February 9. "Our precautionary measure of grounding the three aircraft resulted in cancellations of some of our flights," it said.

According to the airline, the recommendations by Pratt & Whitney as well as EASA are with respect to a certain sub-population of engines, with a particular engine configuration. P&W, with the support of Airbus, is in close contact with the airline to address the results of a recent finding related to the issue, it added. In a separate statement, P&W said that with the support of Airbus, it is in close contact with customers to address the results of a recent finding related to the knife edge seal in the High Pressure Compressor (HPC) aft hub on the PW1100G-JM engine powering the A320 neo planes.

Noting that the issue is isolated to a limited sub population of engines, P&W said it has identified the potentially affected engines. IndiGo and GoAir are the two domestic carriers that operate A320 neo planes powered with P&W engines. Budget airline GoAir said it has three of these engines installed in its aircraft. "In full and complete compliance with the requirements, none of GoAir aircraft have two of these engines on the same aircraft," the carrier said in a statement, adding that no aircraft is required to be grounded.

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