Indian authority grounds 11 IndiGo and GoAir A320neos
Eight IndiGo and three GoAir planes were grounded by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for technical reasons, related to Pratt and Whitney turbofan engines.
The concerned planes had been subject to repetitive engine failures. At least three A320neo owned by Indian companies have had emergency landing in the last three weeks. Overall, Times of India recorded 69 single engine failures on IndiGo planes in 18 months.
The repetitive problems - usually a rare occurrence - are due to the knife edge seal in the high-pressure compressor of the PW (Pratt and Whitney) 1100 turbofan engines equipping some of the A320neo. On some models that have been identified, the faulty component has been showing early wear under the high pressure condition it is subject to.
The Canadian company Pratt and Whitney announced that engines would not be fixed before the end of June 2018. Airbus has stopped the testing and deliveries of the A320neo powered by the faulty PW 1100. Of 113 A320neos powered with PW engines that have been delivered by Airbus, 45 are used by IndiGo and GoAir.
The grounding of the 11 planes by the DGCA already led to the cancellation of about 65 flights. Cancellations will affect number of companies’ flights in the months to come. This can become a benefit for SpiceJet, another Indian company that shares routes with GoAir and IndiGo.
IndiGo might also reconsider its order of 50 A330neo that was previously announced.
The DGCA is not the first authority body to issue such groundings. On February 9, 2018, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) already took a similar measure.