Passengers stranded as DGCA grounds 11 flights with Pratt & Whitney engines

13 March, 2018, 10:51 | Author: Gladys Mathis
  • India aviation regulator orders grounding of 11 jets fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines

Confirming the development, Bhubaneswar Airport Director Suresh Chandra Hota said "Only one IndiGo flight-No 701 has been grounded in Bhubaneswar".

The moves comes hours after of engine failure was reported on an A-320 Neo when an IndiGo aircraft took off from Ahmedabad for Lucknow on Monday.

The Airbus A320 Neo plane had 186 passengers on board.

Post the incident, the DGCA said that the flights with the A-320 neo engines must be grounded with immediate effect.

Aviation minister Jayant Sinha said India's largest airline Indigo and competitor Go Air can use their grounded planes if they are able to secure "alternative engines" to be used in place of the faulty ones.

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In February European plane maker Airbus SE warned of new problems with the Pratt & Whitney engines on its A320neo planes, prompting European air safety officials to issue emergency restrictions (See: Airbus warns of new Pratt & Whitney engine problem). All defective components would be replaced by early June, requiring some planes to fly with one affected engine for nearly three more months. The aircraft "experienced [a] technical glitch with its Number 2 engine", says the carrier. Apart from IndiGo, three GoAir aircraft have also been grounded by the DGCA's ruling.

"While we understand that this may cause inconvenience to some of our passengers, given that we have multiple flights to the same destination, we are proactively re-accommodating all our affected passengers on other flights", Indigo said in a statement.

Pratt & Whitney said in an emailed statement that it's working closely with customers to minimise disruption and has already begun to deliver engines with the "upgraded configuration".

There are around 45 A320 neos, powered by P&W engines, in the country. The US company added that the "aircraft on ground situation" may take until the end of the second quarter to address.

Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu is wasting no time in his new ministry.

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