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13 March 2018, 05:19 | Devin Moran
India aviation regulator orders grounding of 11 jets fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines
However, in a statement, an IndiGo spokesperson said the airline will ground six aircraft, in addition to the three that were pulled out of operation last month after the EASA directive. "The schedule and network are being reworked to accommodate the flights, which are to be operated by these planes", an airline official said.
The directive which was issued at around 4.30 PM read that 320neos fitted with PW engines beyond ESN 450 would be grounded with immediate effect.
The DGCA grounded the Airbus neos fitted with "PW1100 engines" with engine serial numbers 450 and asked both IndiGo and GoAir to not refit these engines with spare parts in their inventory.
The DGCA adds that P&W expects to replace all the affected engines "by early June" even though "there is no concrete proposal in place at this stage to address the issue".
DGCA said there had been three such incidents in 2018 - two involving IndiGo and one with an GoAir aircraft. IndiGo had grounded at least seven of the jets by July previous year, awaiting a fix for the engines.
Pratt & Whitney said in an emailed statement that it's working closely with customers to minimize disruption and has already begun to deliver engines with the "upgraded configuration". Upon implementation of the directive, IndiGo shall have a total of nine A320neo aircraft on ground. These were: GoAir A-320 Neo (VT-WGB) after take-off from Leh on February 24; IndiGo A-320 Neo (VT-ITJ) after take-off from Mumbai on March 5 and IndiGo A-320 Neo (VT-ITA) after take-off from Ahmedabad on March 12.
Immediately after this, three A-320s of IndiGo were grounded in India as these planes had both engines of the flagged type.
On 13 February, DGCA had said that it was monitoring engine glitches to ensure that safety is not compromised at any time. The unilateral action is at odds with the European Aviation Safety Agency, the primary regulator for Airbus planes, which repeated guidance that the jets are safe if they have a single affected turbine.
However, 11 other A320 neo - 8 of IndiGo and 3 of GoAir - were allowed to operate as they were fitted with only one such affected engine, the release said.
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