65 flights cancelled as Indigo, GoAir ground planes

65 flights cancelled as Indigo, GoAir ground planes

A day after aviation regulator DGCA grounded 11 aircraft fitted with faulty Pratt & Whitney engines, no-frills carrier IndiGo and GoAir on Tuesday cancelled at least 65 flights upsetting travel schedules of hundreds of fliers.

While IndiGo cancelled 47 of its around 1,000 daily flights, GoAir said it cancelled 18 services.

On Monday, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) ordered the immediate grounding of eight A320 neo planes of IndiGo and three of GoAir that are powered by faulty Pratt & Whitney engines. Altogether 14 - 11 of IndiGo and three of GoAir - have been grounded.

Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said the decision to ground these aircraft is "only for passenger safety" while expressing hope that the airlines would restore the flights as soon as possible. "They would like to restore the flights as soon as possible by making alternative arrangements. But we cannot play with any issue related to safety and safety is paramount," he told reporters.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said 43 such engines are there worldwide out of which, 19 are in India.

"We do not consider this safe and technical analysis is under way. These engines can be used only when we consider them safe," he said.

GoAir has announced curtailing services from eight cities. IndiGo said some of its flights from cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Patna, Srinagar, Bhubaneswar, Amritsar, Srinagar and Guwahati have been withdrawn due to the grounding of its flights.