Engine issues ground IndiGo Airbus A320 neo aircraft

Engine issues ground IndiGo Airbus A320 neo aircraft

An IndiGo Airlines. Reuters file photo

A new Airbus A320 neo aircraft of budget carrier IndiGo, which was inducted into its fleet barely a couple of weeks ago, has been grounded due to Pratt and Whitney engine issues.

"An IndiGo A320 neo has been grounded and is undergoing a routine engine change. There is no impact on our flight operations," the airline said in a statement when reached out to confirm the grounding.

According to sources, the aircraft had flown less than 50 hours after it was delivered to the airline on July 31 this year, raising concern over the grounding of a new plane.

The flight was inducted for regular commercial operation in the first week of this month. On August 10, after operating from Indore to Bengaluru (flight no 6E708), it was grounded. Reportedly an oil/magnetic chip was found in the engine.

Sources said IndiGo had to seek special permission from aviation watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation to fly this aircraft from Bengaluru to New Delhi on August 12 as a "ferry aircraft" to undergo an engine replacement. Ferry aircraft does not carry passengers.

No comments were available from the airline about the other six A320 neo planes which were grounded by it between July and the first week of this month.

P&W had in a statement said that the grounded aircraft could be back in air from this month onwards. The sixth aircraft was grounded on August 6 due to P&W engine issues.

P&W engine woes had forced the airline to ground some of the A320 neo aircraft on earlier occasions also.

On August 10, InterGlobe's Chief Operating Officer Wolfgang Prock-Schauer had expressed full confidence in A320 neo planes. InterGlobe operates IndiGo.

At present, IndiGo has a fleet of more than 170 aircrafts, including 40 A320 neo planes.

During February and March this year, 14 planes - 11 of IndiGo and three of GoAir - were taken out of operations due to P&W engine issues on the directions of the aviation regulator after a series of mid-air shutdowns were reported by the two carriers.

The grounding of the IndiGo flights during this period had hit 1.08 lakh passengers.

In the 2017 June quarter, IndiGo grounded nine A320 neo planes due to engine issues. The grounding had also resulted in the airline cancelling 84 flights on a particular day last year.