Arts&Culture

Three Indigo-operated A320neo planes grounded after Airbus engine issue

Three Indigo-operated A320neo planes grounded after Airbus engine issue

The European Aviation Safety Agency, or EASA, on Friday issued an alert, known as an airworthiness directive, instructing operators of some of the Pratt engines to stop using the planes until it can be determined why some of the Pratt engines have experienced in-flight shutdowns.

A Pratt spokesperson said the issue relates to a "limited sub-population" of PW1100G engines.

"And, of course, we successfully implemented the engine improvements that we promised to customers in 2017", he said. Engines that incorporated this engineering change entered revenue service on customer aircraft beginning in December 2017.

Airbus on Friday warned of new problems with the Pratt & Whitney engines on its A320neo planes, prompting European air safety officials to issue emergency restrictions (See: Airbus warns of new Pratt & Whitney engine problem). "We look forward to adding the GTF-powered A320neo and A321neo to our fleet". The issue emerged after the company introduced an engineering change in the middle of previous year meant to improve the durability of the "knife edge seal", the company said.

Airbus says around one-third of the in-service fleet of A320neos and A321neos has those engines installed so far, 11 of which are understood to have all two engines of the problematic standard and 21 just one of them. Fellow Dow stock General Electric (GE), which makes the rival Leap engine, climbed 3.4%, though the Leap has run into its own production problems.

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It's hard to assess how this latest setback will affect United Technologies' short-term profitability or its goal this year of nearly doubling the 374 engine deliveries it made in 2017, but it doesn't seem good.

In a statement issued on Saturday, IndiGo confirmed that there are some issues with the engine of the said aircraft and keeping the safety as top priority, it has decided not to fly these three aircrafts.

Indicating that the delay on deliveries may prolong, the company said that the deliveries can begin only after regulatory authorities address its proposed solution. It is also said extended-range, twin-engine operations (ETOPS) can online be performed with two unaffected engines. Also, a Pratt & Whitney representative reportedly has detailed the engine failures involve a seal in the high-pressure compressor (HPC) aft hub of a limited number of the total PW1100G engines in service.

Neither the aircraft manufacturer nor the agency disclosed what airlines are operating aircraft with affected engines.


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