IndiGo Withdraws Three A320 Neo Planes From Service Over Engine Alert

IndiGo flight. File

IndiGo flight. File

In addition, it said it's working to assess an industrial and delivery plan to minimize customer disruption.

The EASA said that "several occurrences of inflight shutdown and rejected takeoff have been reported on certain" A320neo-family aircraft powered by GTF engines. It put the European planemaker on the map three decades ago, allowing the company to go from a speck in Boeing Co's rear-view mirror to powerful equal in what has become a de-facto duopoly in the global civil-aircraft market.

"Following a new issue identified on a limited number of recently delivered Pratt & Whitney GTF engines affecting the high pressure compressor aft hub, immediate actions were launched without delay..."

According to a statement released by IndiGo, the airline has grounded its three A320 neo aircraft due to engine problems.

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that IndiGo operates a fleet of 157 aircraft, comprising 122 A320ceos, 32 A320neos and three ATR 72-600s.

Airbus chose to stop accepting additional Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines equipping its A320neo family aircraft, after a higher than normal number of inflight shutdowns and aborted takeoffs were reported on aircraft using the latest build-standard engines.

Greg Hayes, chief executive officer of United Technologies, said last April that Pratt incurred costs that weren't material to retrofit the engines and for "helping the airlines through some of this". The Farmington conglomerate, which also makes aerospace parts, elevators and building systems equipment, has touted the engine as quieter and more fuel-efficient than those produced by competitors.

Airbus says there are 113 Pratt & Whitney-powered A320neo aircraft flying with 18 customers. "In late January and early February of this year, four of these modified engines did not perform as anticipated", the company said.

The development comes days after budget passenger carrier IndiGo said that it has "withdrawn" three of its A320neo aircraft from service after "receiving" precautionary recommendations from European Aviation Safety Agency on a particular engine type which powers these planes.

Airbus too has issued an alert, saying these aircraft should not be used till further instructions.

The P&W Purepower GTF engines while key to the improved efficiency of these aircraft, had a long string of problems during testing and in service.

"In the interest of safety of aircraft operation, DGCA always takes proactive steps as has been taken in case of combustion chamber failure and...bearing failure for PW1100 series engines".

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