India grounds 11 Indigo, GoAir jets after engine shutdowns

India aviation regulator orders grounding of 11 jets fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines

The aviation regulator on Monday grounded 11 A320neo aircraft - eight operated by IndiGo and three by GoAir - after another mid-air engine failure magnified safety concerns that have dogged one of the most popular, fuel-efficient, medium-range planes in the world.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Monday directed public carriers IndiGo and GoAir to ground 11 Airbus A-320 New engine option (Neo) aircraft with immediate effect that are fitted with a faulty type of Pratt & Whitney (PW) engines. According to statement released by IndiGo, upon implementation of directive & necessary engine swaps, the airlines shall have three additional i.e. total of six A320neo aircraft on the ground.

On February 9, EASA had issued an emergency airworthiness directive for A-320 Neo planes fitted with PW1100 engines having a particular serial number.

Mumbai, Mar 12 Hundreds of passengers were stranded across the country today as dozens of flights were cancelled by IndiGo and GoAir after the regulator DGCA grounded 11 A320 Neo planes powered by Pratt & Whitney engines following a mid-air engine failure of an IndiGo plane earlier in the day in Ahmedabad. That's not acceptable, according to the Indian regulator, which said the manufacturer had "no concrete proposal in place at this stage".

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The DGCA official said since then, there have been three cases of the in-flight shutdown of A-320 Neos fitted with one affected PW1100 engine.

"We are in receipt of the communication from the DGCA and we shall promptly comply with the directions of the DGCA".

"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. The corrective action has been approved and we have already begun to deliver production engines with the upgraded configuration.

On February 13, DGCA had said that it was monitoring engine glitches to ensure that safety is not compromised at any time. "We are working to mitigate the AOG situation by the end of the second quarter". "Affected passengers would be accommodated on other flights on our network", a spokesperson said. "We have complied immediately", a GoAir spokesperson said.

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