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13 March 2018, 10:53 | Gordon Grant
India aviation regulator orders grounding of 11 jets fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines
The DGCA says that A320neos with engine serial numbers ESN 450 and beyond will be grounded. Out of the 11, eight are operated by IndiGo while GoAir operates three. "The corrective action has been approved and we have already begun to deliver production engines with the upgraded configuration", the engine maker said, adding that it is working to mitigate the situation by the end of the second quarter, Livemint reported. The regulator also asked the airlines not to refit the engines. 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. GoAir operates 230 flights per day.
India unilaterally grounded all Airbus SE narrow-body planes powered by the latest Pratt & Whitney engines after a series of in-flight incidents prompted the local regulator to question the safety of the aircraft. "When the technical work is over and the engine is considered safe, only then can these engines be used", he said.
Indigo is India's largest passenger airline, with a market share of 39.4 percent as of November 2017, and is also one of the largest operators of the A320neo variant.
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The glitch with the so called knife-edge compressor seal is the latest in a series of expensive problems for Pratt in its development of the geared turbofan engine model.
PTI quoted a source as saying that "hundreds of passengers were stranded" after the flights were grounded.
"We must give the highest priority to safety". As many as seven departures were delayed. On March 13, the airline made the announcement to cancel its 47 flights across its domestic network through its official website. "We are altering flight schedules and communicating the same to those affected by the last minute changes; we are making all possible arrangements to minimize the impact", GoAir said in a statement.
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