IndiGo Not Alone, Spicejet, Jet Airways, Air India Too Report Snag, Grounding

IndiGo Not Alone, Spicejet, Jet Airways, Air India Too Report Snag, Grounding”

The plan to strengthen the existing fleet with more fuel-efficient aircraft but slipping into performance-related issues leading to embarrassment on account of plane groundings and flight cancellations reads like a chronology of recent events of two airlines in India - IndiGo and GoAir.

The grounding of the above two flights came after, when on Sunday, Indigo revealed that A320 Neo aircraft which operated on the Bengaluru-Delhi route was withdrawn in Delhi for maintenance check, as detect was reported in it. "During the maintenance check, metal chips were observed on engine number 1, (and) number 3 bearing chip detector, which is a known concern on the Neo engine", the airline said.

Mumbai: Budget airline IndiGo on Monday said that it has grounded an Airbus A320neo plane after it developed technical snags, the ninth such aircraft to be grounded in the past week. It added, "However, during engine start, the pilot-in-command observed a hydraulic (not oil) leakage from engine 2. The issue has been rectified and the aircraft is now fit to fly".

The airline's President said IndiGo expects to further reduce daily flight cancellations in the coming week. The DGCA and P&W estimate that the problem will persist till at least June as the engine manufacturer needs time to provide replacements. Problems ranged from production delays to grounded flights.

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A string of problems has clouded the rollout of P&W's new engines, with the United States aviation regulator warning in February that some engines fitted on the narrow-body A320neo planes posed a shutdown risk.

While reportedly another 18 flights would remain cancelled between March 22 and March 24.

More number of flights, however, were cancelled in February this year (0.89%) as compared to the corresponding period last year (0.39%), affecting 44,294 passengers. Put together, IndiGo and GoAir have cancelled around 626 flights. These air crafts are now operating in India.

DGCA told the court that there were engine failure problems in the modified A320neos, which numbered 14 and were grounded. The aircraft equipped with older series of engines were still allowed to fly.

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