GST adds to engine woes, almost half of IndiGo A-320 Neo fleet grounded

Indigo flights

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Nine out of Indigo’s 22 A-320 Neos are reportedly grounded due to engine issues.
  • The implementation of GST led to some confusion over import of replacement engines that further added to the problem

NEW DELHI: Almost half the fleet of IndiGo‘s Airbus A-320 new engine option (Neo) is grounded due to trouble with the Pratt & Whitney (PW) engines used on these planes.

The low-cost carrier (LCC) currently has 22 A-320 Neos and nine of them are reportedly grounded due to engine issues. The implementation of GST from July 1 led to some confusion over the import of replacement engines which further added to the problem.

In India, IndiGo and GoAir use the combination of PW engines on A-320 Neos. Due to constant trouble with these engines, the US engine manufacturer was replacing and/or rectifying them. “PW is facing this issue on the A-320 Neos globally. Due to this, it is unable to supply replacement engines at the required pace. Also, there are some changes in the modifications that were being carried out on the replacement engines. So, the result is that the airlines using the A-320 Neo with PW engines are suffering,” said a source.

IndiGo spokesman Ajay Jasra said: “…we continue to face operational issues with the Neo engine…. While this has caused operational disruptions, both PW and Airbus are working to address the issues. In the meantime, we continue to receive the necessary operational and technical support including the provision of spare engines to help mitigate the operational impact on us.”

“We also faced some issues this month in getting some engines cleared at the customs post the implementation of GST. However, the government has cleared the confusion and has come out with a notification stating that leased aircraft and engines are exempt from custom duty so we are hopeful that this problem is behind us now,” Jasra added.

IndiGo has a total fleet of close to 140 A-320s, of which 22 are Neos. The engine trouble is being faced by the PW-powered Neos. A unit of United Technologies Corp, P&W’s A-320 Neo engines have been plagued with issues like slow engine startup times and erroneous engine software messages in the new engine.

Globally till February 24, 2017, 42 PW 1100G engines (fitted on A-320 Neos) have been prematurely removed from aircraft due to different technical reasons.A statement by PW said: “PW, with the support of Airbus, is actively working with our customers in India and we are supporting them in their daily operations…. The PW PurePower GTF engine employs advanced technology and has been in operation for more than one year. It has more than 200,000 hours of passenger service and is utilized by 13 operators flying 250 flights per day to over 100 destinations on four continents.”

Source: Times Of India

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