NEW DELHI: Yet another Pratt and Whitney (PW) engine on an Airbus A320 Neo developed a snag after flying from Chennai to Hyderabad on Monday and now needs to be changed. The aircraft (VT-ITC) operated as 6E-6215.
“Engine number two had a high vibration. On landing in Hyderabad, a boroscopic examination of the engine was carried out. No deficiency was revealed in that check but PW has recommended that this engine be changed after reviewing its performance,” said sources. Comments from IndiGo and PW have been sought and are awaited.
Now this engine adds to the long list of over 110 PW engines that IndiGo needs to change on close to the 100 A 320/21 new engine option (Neo) aircraft it has in its fleet by January 31, 2020. Given the high rate of snags on a particular series of Pratt’s engines for the Neo and as many as 13 inflight shutdowns IndiGo has faced in a year, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had asked IndiGo to ensure all its Neos have only upgraded — and hopefully less snag-prone engines — under both their wings by January-end.
Neos with even one unmodified older version of PW engines will not be allowed to fly from February 1. Recently DGCA reviewed the status of an engine change to see if that deadline will be met. Once it felt that may not happen and that a significant number of IndiGo Neos could be grounded after February 1, 2020, the regulator had last Monday directed the low cost carrier (LCC) to ground an Airbus A320/21 currently in its fleet with unmodified PW engines each time it inducts a new A320/21 with modified PW engines under both its wings. The earlier Neo will be grounded till it gets modified engines too. And the new one will fly its routes till then so that there is no schedule disruption in the ongoing winter travel season.
IndiGo is the world’s largest customer of Airbus A320 Neo family of aircraft with 635 of these yet to be delivered at the rate of one plane a week for the next 12-13 years. The order could hit IndiGo’s growth plans in the short to medium term.