The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Monday warned Indigo that their efforts to modify the Airbus A320neo jets, comprising the problematic Pratt & Whitney (PW) engines, were not satisfactory. If the airline fails to meet DGCA’s requirements by the fixed deadline of January 31, 2020, then it will be forced to ground a major chunk of its fleet.
“We may find ourselves in a situation in which we remain saddled with a large number of aircraft with unmodified engines and operating on a schedule approved by us,” the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said.
IndiGo has 98 A320Neo family aircraft, including 91 A320Neos and seven A321Neos, which are all powered by faulty-P&W engines. Many of the total aircrafts continue to fly with at least one unmodified engine. Indigo recently took delivery of A320Neo family plane days after the aviation watchdog’s directives were issued.
The DGCA said deliveries of new planes taken by IndiGo must be used to replace the aircrafts that are fitted with turbine blades, PTI reported. Then those planes must be grounded until both their engines are replaced, only then the planes will be allowed to fly again, the regulator said.
“The grounded aircraft can be allowed a fresh schedule once its engines are replaced,” DGCA said. “This process may remain in force till all the engines in the fleet have been replaced,” it added.
Meanwhile, InterGlobe Aviation Ltd said that the company would meet the set deadline to make the changes asked by the regulator.
“IndiGo is working with P&W and Airbus to adjust inflow of LPT (low pressure turbine) 3 modified engines to meet the DGCA guidelines,” an IndiGo spokesperson was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
On 1 November, the DGCA had directed IndiGo to replace the faulty P&W engines their latest versions, LPTs on all its Airbus A320Neo aircraft by January 31. The decision was taken after a series of engine related issues were reported on Indigo flights.
(With input from agencies)