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.
According to the source, an aircraft on average operates seven to eight trips a day and considering that 11 aircraft have been grounded, the number of cancelled flights could easily touch around 80-90 besides the cascading delays.
With this, all the A320neo aircraft with PW1100 engines beyond serial number 450 have been taken off operation in India.
The regulatory body also warned the two airlines not to refit the spare engines (PW1100 engines beyond serial number 450) that they have in their inventory.
That's not acceptable, according to Indian regulator DGCA, which said the manufacturer had "no concrete proposal in place at this stage". "We are in receipt of the communication from the DGCA and we shall comply promptly with the directions of the DGCA".
"Upon implementation of the directive, IndiGo shall have a total of nine A320neo aircraft on ground", an IndiGo spokesperson said. IndiGo had grounded at least seven of the jets by July previous year, awaiting a fix for the engines. The corrective action has been approved and we have already begun to deliver production engines with the upgraded configuration. "We are working to mitigate the Aircraft on Ground (AOG) situation by the end of the second quarter", it added. "The schedule and network are being reworked to accommodate the flights, which are to be operated by these planes", an airline official said. Of the 11 newly grounded Indian aircraft, as many as five may be able to recommence flying by swapping engines between affected planes.
Both bans were subsequently revoked.
Under the Pratt plan, all defective components would be replaced by early June, requiring some planes to fly with one affected engine for nearly three more months.
Indigo has been asked to ground 8 A320 Neos.
Earlier in the day, civil aviation secretary RN Choubey had said that an appropriate decision would be taken on Monday.
Under the Pratt plan, all defective components would be replaced by early June, requiring some planes to fly with one affected engine for nearly three more months. All defective components would be replaced by early June, requiring some planes to fly with one affected engine for nearly three more months.
DGCA said it has not got a "firm commitment" from the United States engine manufacturer on addressing fresh safety concerns, which forced it to ground the fleet.