DGCA orders grounding of 8 IndiGo, 3 GoAir aircraft over engine issues

The move immediately grounded eight aircraft at IndiGo India’s largest carrier and three at GoAirlines

DGCA orders grounding of 8 IndiGo, 3 GoAir aircraft over engine issues

Previously, the DGCA had ordered grounding of 3 units of IndiGo's A320neo fleet after the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) had on February 9, 2018, issued emergency airworthiness directive regarding A320neo fleet the world over fitted with PW1100 engines (with serial number of 450 and beyond).

However, there is a mismatch between the number of grounded planes given by the DGCA and IndiGo while clarity is awaited from the latter. "GoAir has received the directive from the DGCA for immediate grounding of all late serial number P&W engines". It comes after three in-service shutdowns of aircraft with one PW1100 engine featuring the seal, two of which occurred in the past week, according to the DGCA.

That's not acceptable, according to Indian regulator DGCA, which said the manufacturer had "no concrete proposal in place at this stage".

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In a statement, P&W said, it is working closely with customers to minimise disruption. Immediately after getting this directive, IndiGo - which at that time had 32 Neos - had grounded three Neos which had both engines of this specific variant. The US company added that the "aircraft on ground situation" may take until the end of the second quarter to address. These included GoAir A-320 Neo (VT-WGB) after take-off from Leh on February 24; IndiGo A-320 Neo (VT-ITJ) after take-off from Mumbai on March 5 and IndiGo A-320 Neo (VT-ITA) after take-off from Ahmedabad on March 12.

Earlier in the day, Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey had said that an appropriate decision would be taken today. It is different from the performance issues with the engine's carbon seal and combustion chamber witnessed by operators past year, which led to grounding of a number of aircraft. Till last month, GoAir had three of these engines - but not two of the same series on one Neo so they did not have to then ground planes.

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