GoAir yet to upgrade 20 engines in A320neo aircraft despite three-month extension

Updated on Sep 13, 2020 02:17 PM IST

DGCA had granted the extension to the low-cost carrier, along with the country’s largest airline IndiGo, to refurbish engines in their A320neo fleet after supply chains and production lines were hit due to the nationwide lockdown.

The regulator had asked all P&W engines to be replaced with modified/ upgraded engines till January 2020, failing which the fleet would be grounded. The deadline was however extended again to May 31 and then to August 31.(Representational Photo/GoAir)
The regulator had asked all P&W engines to be replaced with modified/ upgraded engines till January 2020, failing which the fleet would be grounded. The deadline was however extended again to May 31 and then to August 31.(Representational Photo/GoAir)
Hindustan Times, Mumbai | ByNeha LM Tripathi

Despite receiving a three-month extension to replace all its aircraft engines powered by Pratt & Whitney (P&W), GoAir is yet to replace around 20 of them in its A320neo planes. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) continues to ground the aircraft whose P&W engines are yet to be modified.

Top sources from the ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) also confirmed to HT that GoAir was yet to replace all its P&W engines. “Currently, around 20 of their engines have to be replaced,” the ministry official said.

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The regulator had asked all P&W engines to be replaced with modified/ upgraded engines till January 2020, failing which the fleet would be grounded. The deadline was however extended again to May 31 and then to August 31.

DGCA had granted the extension to the low-cost carrier, along with the country’s largest airline IndiGo, to refurbish engines in their A320neo fleet after supply chains and production lines were hit due to the nationwide lockdown.

Unlike GoAir, IndiGo has met the extended deadline.

“The replacement of P&W engines has been completed for Indigo. Some GoAir engines are yet to be replaced. However, we have stopped them from flying aircraft without both modified engines. If an aircraft has to fly, it has to have both modified engines. Effectively, those without both modifications remain grounded,” Arun Kumar, director general of DGCA, told HT.

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The P&W engine-powered A320neo planes in IndiGo and GoAir fleets have been facing glitches both mid-air and on the ground since April 2017, following which DGCA, at the end of 2019, directed that the two low-cost airlines replace them with the modified version by January this year.

“GoAir, along with Pratt & Whitney, have upgraded the third stage of the low-pressure turbine (LPT) on all PW1100G-JM engines in service. The upgraded turbine has been performing flawlessly to date. In line with the GoAir policy of “safety first” and as mandated by Directorate General of Civil Aviation, all the aircraft are operating as per the safety standards. This progress was made during the pause in air travel and subsequent early recovery period with the support of Pratt & Whitney,” said the airline spokesperson.

However, Pratt & Whitney said some GoAir engines were yet to be replaced. A P&W spokesperson said, “The vast majority of engines in GoAir’s fleet have been upgraded, and we are working with GoAir to schedule the remaining few. All aircraft operating in India today fly with upgraded GTF engines. The upgraded turbines in engines have performed flawlessly to date.”

According to DGCA, IndiGo has 106 P&W powered A320neo aircraft in its fleet while GoAir has 43. Each A320neo plane is powered by a twin engine.

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