India grounds 11 A320neos with PW1100 engines

Mid-air engine failure DGCA grounds 11 A320 neo planes with Pratt & Whitney engines

India grounds 11 A320neos with PW1100 engines

The decision comes hours after an A320 neo aircraft of IndiGo suffered engine failure mid-air and made an emergency landing at Ahmedabad airport.

The DGCA official said IndiGo's three aircraft, with both the equipped engines affected with the problem, were grounded last month, while eight with only one affected engine were allowed to fly under certain restrictions.

DGCA said there had been three such incidents in 2018 - two involving IndiGo and one with an GoAir aircraft. Of the 11 newly grounded Indian aircraft, as many as five may be able to recommence flying by swapping engines between affected planes.

The regulator would be in touch with the stakeholders and review the situation in due course and when the issue is addressed by European regulator EASA and P&W, it added. Indigo and Go Air have been asked by the regulator not to refit these engines (PW1100 engines beyond serial number 450) which are spare with them in their inventory.

"We are altering flight schedules and communicating the same to those affected by the last minute changes; we are making all possible arrangements to minimize the impact", GoAir said in a statement. IndiGo had grounded at least seven of the jets by July past year, awaiting a fix for the engines. 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.

Pratt & Whitney in a statement said corrective action has been approved and "we have already begun to deliver production engines with the upgraded configuration".

The European Aviation Safety Agency has ruled that operations with one defective engine should be permitted provided affected planes don't undertake extended flights over water, where they're more distant from diversionary airports in the event of an emergency.

There are around 45 A320 neos, powered by P&W engines, in the country. Meanwhile, GoAir operates 13 of the re-engined narrowbody and has 131 on order.

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

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