“The deep dive in on (on the twin PW snags),” a senior DGCA official said. Comments were sought from PW Tuesday on two issues — why snags on its engine for Airbus A320 family of planes keep recurring and when will it give replacement engines to IndiGo (GoAir also needed many replacement engines but it set down earlier this year awaiting the same). PW response is awaited.
Technical issues with PW engines for A320 family of planes has been lingering for almost six years now. GoAir and IndiGo were the two affected airline in India, with the number down to one now as the Wadia Group airline suspended operations on May 3, 2023.
Engine shuts down in-flight, IndiGo flight makes safe landing in Mumbai
“We are dealing with some aircraft on ground (AOG) situation… being dealt with a whole range of mitigating measures. These measures were announced at the end of last year and have been effective in order to make sure that we deliver our capacity guidance that we provided to the market and shareholders earlier,” IndiGo CEO Pieter Elbers had said on August 2, 2023, while putting the number of IndiGo grounded planes at “around 40”.
IndiGo is one of the world’s largest operator of A320 family of planes. Given their numbers, the Indian DGCA has in recent years taken several stern steps to ensure that safety is not compromised due to PW snags on IndiGo and GoAir A320/321s. These included not allowing any aircraft to fly without an upgraded engine which had tackled recurrent snags being faced by the earlier generation engines for these planes; not allowing these planes to fly to Port Blair or Ladakh as getting stuck their their with a bust engine will mean occupying parking slot at these constrained airports. These restrictions were lifted only when PW resolved the issues.
However ongoing global supply chain constraints since 2020 have made it difficult for all aviation industry stakeholders globally — including aircraft/engine/seat-makers — to churn out the required numbers as demand for travel recovered recovered faster than anyone had imagined in a post-Covid world.