NEW DELHI: Following multiple instances of mid-air engine failures in IndiGo flights, aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday took a tough stance and ordered the private carrier to replace its Pratt & Whitney (P&W) engines on 98 Airbus A320neo aircraft by January 31. Failure to timely modify the engines will result in the aircraft being grounded, it warned.
“As you are aware, last one week has witnessed four air turn backs/ in-flight shutdowns, causing serious concerns and resultant disruptions. This situation cannot be allowed to go on indefinitely,” DGCA said, “The operator must ensure that all these aircraft are provided with modified LPTs (Low-Pressure Turbine) by January 31, 2020, at all costs. In case this is not done, such aircraft shall not be allowed to fly with unmodified engines.”
In the interim, DGCA has also asked the carrier to replace the P&W engines of 23 A320neo planes by November 19, else they will be grounded.
The order may likely to impact IndiGo’s expansion plans as it was asked to halt induction of new plans and focus its effort on fit operations of its existing planes. “You may like to stagger or defer your future induction plans and procure a sufficient number of modified engines to keep the existing fleet in operation,” DGCA said.
IndiGo flights had seen four instances of engine snags in October alone. Meanwhile, the leading carrier said it would meet the November 19 deadline and are currently working with P&W and Airbus on mitigation.