DGCA grounds 11 Airbus planes of IndiGo, GoAir

DGCA grounds 11 Airbus planes of IndiGo, GoAir

Earlier this year, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) had called for the global grounding of Airbus 320 neo aircraft due to a few occurrences of aborted take-offs and in-flight shutdowns on aircraft fitted with the PW 1100 from Serial Number 450 and beyond.

The decision to ground the 11 planes, fitted with a certain series of Pratt & Whitney engines, was taken after 186 passengers on an IndiGo flight from Ahmedabad to Calcutta via Lucknow had a mid-air scare when one of the engines failed. The aircraft then had to return to make an emergency landing in Ahmedabad. While Indigo has eight such aircraft, GoAir has three.

Citing safety of aircraft operations, the DGCA said, A320 neos fitted with PW1100 engines beyond ESN 450 have been grounded with immediate effect.

Of these, 8 are operated by IndiGo and 3 by GoAir.

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The directive followed instances of the engines shut-down during flights and rejected take-offs involving the A320 neo family aircraft. The DGCA has ordered these airlines not to refit these engines which are spare with them in their inventory. It said the manufacturer had "no concrete proposal in place at this stage".

In a statement, P&W said, it is working closely with customers to minimise disruption. The corrective action has been approved and we have already begun to deliver production engines with the upgraded configuration. It and GoAir said they'd complied with the DGCA directive. We have complied immediately.

At the same time Pratt & Whitney said that the "aircraft on ground situation" may take until the end of the second quarter to address, Bloomberg reported. Officials went into a huddle soon after and emerged with the directive to ground these A320neo planes. 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. "We are altering flight schedules and communicating the same to those affected by the last minute changes; we are making all possible arrangements to minimize the impact".

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