IndiGo, GoAir Cancel 50 A320 Neo Flights


48 flights from Indigo and GoAir canceled today

The Indigo flight to Raipur and Spicejet flight to Delhi, each carrying over 100 passengers, were grounded.The Indigo flight at 10:25 am later left for its destination by 2:30 pm whereas, the Spice Jet which was to leave at 1:40 pm finally took-off at 4:05 pm.

Three other IndiGo A320Neo planes have been on the ground since February following similar engine problems.

The Wadia Group-promoted low-priced carrier GoAir, which has a 10-per cent market share and operates around 230 flights daily, also cancelled six flights due to the grounding of three of its A320neo planes.

Earlier on Tuesday, a total of 66 flights got canceled by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). It has also shifted some business from IndiGo and GoAir to Vistara, Jet Airways and Air India as passengers don't want any last minute hiccups. The fares for Mumbai-Delhi flights have increased three-fold, reported DNA. Both IndiGo and GoAir have been told not to refit these engines, which are spare with them in their inventory. Given that India boasts 45 of these aircrafts powered by Pratt & Whitney engines - of which 32 are with IndiGo - this makes a pretty scary future. IndiGo is also now the world's largest operator of the A320neo with 32 in service and 373 on order.

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The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Monday made a decision to ground 11 aircraft hours after an A320 Neo aircraft of IndiGo suffered an engine failure mid-air and was forced to make an emergency landing at the Ahmedabad airport.

Meanwhile, European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has said that the DGCA's move to ground A320 neo aircraft with a particular series of Pratt & Whitney engines was a "unilateral decision".

Pratt spokeswoman Jenny Dervin said the company is working closely with customers in India "to minimize disruption".

The Airbus A320neo (new engine option) launched in December 2010, is one of the fastest-selling aircraft in history and as compared with the narrow-body jets from Airbus, A320neo is more efficient - consuming 15 per cent less fuel. Dervin added that "corrective action has been approved and we have already begun to deliver production engines with the upgraded configuration".

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