IndiGo withdraws three A320neos from service after engine safety alert

12 Febrero, 2018, 02:19 | Author: Gregg Anderson
  • IndiGo flight. File

"We are honoured by the continuing confidence that SWISS has placed in Pratt & Whitney and in the GTF engine", said Chris Calio, President, Commercial Engines, Pratt & Whitney.

P&W engines have flown 500,000h since the first geared turbofan-powered A320neo entered service in January 2016 with Lufthansa, P&W says.

The DGCA said the European aviation regulator had on Friday issued an emergency airworthiness directive for A320neo planes fitted with PW1100 engines with a particular serial number.

Airbus has briefed airlines and leasing companies and told them it can not yet say how long it will take to resolve the problem, one source told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The A320neo specific PW1100G has been hounded with technical problems and reliability issues, while its variants were less affected.

ETOPS certification allows twin engine aircraft to fly straight, rather than flying close to airports for diversion in case of an engine trouble. It is in the midst of increasing output and last week said it may speed up further.

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Indian budget carrier IndiGo, said it had carried out 69 Pratt engines replacements in 18 months, after multiple inflight shut downs and turn backs, adding replacements were the best possible precautionary measure.

'The recommendations are with respect to a certain sub-population of engines, with a particular engine configuration.

EASA's safety bulletin also bans airlines from using A320neo jets on extended trips over water or isolated areas when one of the engines comes from the suspect batch. Both A320neos and A321neos are affected.

"The passengers have also been given choice of full refund as well".

The DGCA official said IndiGo has three such aircraft, which have been grounded.

"We have identified the potentially affected engines and communicated with our customers", Pratt & Whitney said in a statement. "As a precaution, aircraft with these engines will be addressed in a manner consistent with the operational instructions issued by Airbus, and coordinated between Airbus and Pratt & Whitney as needed". The root cause remains under investigation, but the preliminary findings suggest that engines with the aft hub modification are "more susceptible" to an in-flight shutdown, EASA adds.

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