Aviation authority grounds eight IndiGo and three GoAir aircraft with faulty engines

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

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation grounded 11 planes belonging to two low-priced carriers, after the engine of an IndiGo aircraft failed mid-air.

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

Out of the grounded aircraft, eight planes are with IndiGo and three with GoAir.

The directive which was issued at around 4.30 PM read that 320neos fitted with PW engines beyond ESN 450 would be grounded with immediate effect.

The DGCA has also ordered the airlines not to refit the engines even though there are spares in their inventories. "There is no concrete proposal in place at this stage to address the issue", the DGCA said in a statement.

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that IndiGo operates 29 A320neos in its fleet of 157 aircraft and has 398 of the type on order. IndiGo had grounded at least seven of the jets by July past year, awaiting a fix for the engines. "We have complied immediately", a GoAir spokesperson said.

Clarifying its position, Pratt & Whitney in a statement said: "We are working closely with our customers to minimize disruption". The corrective action has been approved and we have already begun to deliver production engines with the upgraded configuration. The U.S. company added that the "aircraft on ground situation" may take until the end of the second quarter to address. The aircraft "experienced [a] technical glitch with its Number 2 engine", says the carrier.

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Both bans were subsequently revoked.

DGCA said it had also asked the airlines not to replace the engines. Upon implementation of the directive, IndiGo shall have a total of nine A320neo aircraft on ground. 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.

Soon after the incident, civil aviation secretary R.N. Choubey said an "appropriate decision" would be taken later in the evening.

"...keeping in mind the safety of aircraft operations, A320neos fitted with PW1100 engines beyond engine serial number 450 have been grounded with immediate effect".

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 DGCA statement added since then there have been three cases of an in-flight shutdown of A-320 Neos fitted with one affected PW1100 engine.

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