Following the grounding of 11 IndiGo Air320neos due to faulty engines, Pratt & Whitney has announced that it would deliver replacement PW1100 engines in the next 40 days. The first delivery should be made on March 28, 2018.

 

The grounding forced IndiGo to cancel around 900 flights in March, 2018, which represents 3% of its global schedule. The company could lose about 21 million of dollars in that period.

 

Pratt & Whitney had initially announced that it would find a solution before June, 2018. The constructor offered a fix that would require to fly planes with one faulty engine for the next three months - something approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). But India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) refused this solution.

 

The faulty part of the engine is thought to be the knife-edge seal of the compressor which, submitted to high pressure, shows early signs of wear. The engines delivered by P&W should be retrofitted with a previous version of the seal.

 

Prices of some flights have gone up considerably due to the grounding. The most affected routes are Delhi-Chandigarh, Bengaluru-Thiruvananthapuram and Hyderabad-Kochi. The fares have increased from 10% to 32% on the routes that are less covered by other airlines. The more popular lines, however, barely saw their prices increase.

 

Technical problems, that also affected ATR aircraft, will profit IndiGo’s rivals — such as Jet Airways or SpiceJet — in India’s booming air travel economy. The number of passengers transported has grown up 22% during the last year.