DGCA orders grounding of 8 IndiGo, 3 GoAir aircraft over engine issues


Concerns over safety of such planes increased with another engine failure forcing emergency landing of IndiGo flight at Ahmedabad airport today, and the regulator cracking the whip saying that there is no concrete proposal in place at this stage to address the issue.

DGCA's move comes after Pratt and Whitney did not give a firm commitment in its latest communication as to when issues with the engines post Serial Number 450 will be resolved and informed that all affected engines will be replaced by early June this year.

The latest groundings are expected to affect over 70 flights daily between IndiGo and GoAir. The aircraft "experienced [a] technical glitch with its Number 2 engine", says the carrier.

However, there is a mismatch between the number of grounded planes given by the DGCA and IndiGo while clarity is awaited from the latter.

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"We are altering flight schedules and communicating the same to those affected by the last minute changes; we are making all possible arrangements to minimize the impact", GoAir said in a statement.

Indigo has been asked to ground 8 A320 Neos.

Immediately after this, three A-320s of IndiGo were grounded in India as these planes had both engines of the flagged type.

The DGCA adds that that two similar cases occurred recently, with a Jammu-bound GoAir A320neo returning to Leh on 24 February and a Kolkata-bound IndiGo A320neo returning to Mumbai on 5 March.

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DGCA said it has not got a "firm commitment" from the United States engine manufacturer on addressing fresh safety concerns, which forced it to ground the fleet. On February 9, he European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), released an airworthiness directive A-320 Neos fitted with PW1100 engines because there had been some instances of aborted flights or situations in which the planes had to go back to the airport because of the disturbances that had been caused because of the faulty engines in them.

In February, the USA aviation regulator said the Pratt & Whitney engines pose a shutdown risk, following similar action by European regulators that month.

Out of them, 32 are with IndiGo and 13 are with GoAir.

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