New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has finally cracked the whip on Pratt & Whitney’s (PW) snag-ridden engines for the Airbus A320 new engine option (Neo) family of planes.
IndiGo was on Friday asked to ensure that all the 98 Neos it currently has must get modified PW engines under both their wings latest by January 31, 2020. The Neos that do not meet this will not be allowed to fly beyond that date.
Since IndiGo is the world’s largest customer for this aircraft and is yet to receive over 630 of them, the regulator has advised it to defer future deliveries so that the 98 Neos with it can get replacement engines – instead of new yet-to-be-delivered planes – and continue flying them beyond next February.
“Last one week has witnessed four inflight shutdowns (of PW engines) and air turn back… has caused serious concern and resultant disruption. This situation cannot be allowed to go on indefinitely…. four successive events have not happened ever before and therefore, call for an urgent and effective action.
We regret the inconvenience but we need desperate measures to put things in order,” the DGCA did an unprecedented plain speaking to IndiGo.
The airline has also been asked to change one engine each on 23 planes — instead of 16 as directed earlier — by November 19.
These 23 planes have a more snag-prone type of engine under both their wings and the regulator will allow them to fly after November 19 only if they get at least one modified and less snag-prone PW engine each.
02/11/19 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India