This is nearly 40 percent of its fleet. If not complied with, the airline won't be allowed to fly without modified engines
In a strict directive that could disrupt IndiGo's (InterGlobe Aviation) operations, regulator DGCA has asked the country's largest airline to fix 97 Airbus A320neos engines by January 31. This is nearly 40 percent of its fleet.
Failing this, the airline won't be allowed to fly without modified engines. "You may like to stagger or defer your future induction plan and procure sufficient number of modified engines to keep the existing fleet in operation," the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in a communique.
Grounding 97 aircraft will force IndiGo to re-align its operations. It has a fleet of 247 aircraft.
The directive comes after an earlier one from the regulator asking IndiGo to to flying 16 A320neo planes with Pratt & Whitney engines that have been in operation for more than 3,000 hours.
The DGCA separately noted that seven more aircraft have been added to the list of 16. And each of these aircraft should be fixed with at least one LPT modified engine (if both the engines have done more than 2,900 flying hours) by November 19.
The earlier deadline, for the 16 aircraft, was November 12.
DGCA noted that four incidents related to the P&W engines have been reported in the last one week..."and has caused serious concern and resultant disruption. This situation cannot be allowed to go on indefinitely."
It added: "You will appreciate that four successive events have not happened ever before and therefore call for an urgent and effective action. We regret the inconvenience but we need desperate measures to put things in order.”
The company responded, "We are confident that we are able to meet this directive and are able to sustain our current schedule. Subsequently, we have received the latest directive from the DGCA on November 01, 2019, which requires that all operating A320 NEO should have both engines with LPT3 modification installed for operation post 31st Jan 2020. IndiGo currently operates on its fleet of 98 A320 NEO family with around 45 percent of its engines modified. We are working with both P&W and Airbus on mitigation so that we have enough modified spare engines by January 31, 2020. In the meantime, our schedule remains intact."Update: This copy has been updated with the response given by IndiGo.Get access to India's fastest growing financial subscriptions service Moneycontrol Pro for as little as Rs 599 for first year. Use the code "GETPRO". Moneycontrol Pro offers you all the information you need for wealth creation including actionable investment ideas, independent research and insights & analysis For more information, check out the Moneycontrol website or mobile app.