Already almost 50 IndiGo Airbus A320neo (new engine option) have been grounded for several months awaiting replacement GTF engines from PW, which means over 80 IndiGo planescould be grounded early next year.Any more engines going bust, a common thing with PW GTF engines that power the A320 neos, will add to this number. Acapacity crunch, which IndiGo is trying to address by getting as many planes on lease as possible, could lead to a spike in airfares — as seen earlier this summer after GoAir collapsed.
The GTF engines have been facing a series of issues or snags for the last 5-6 years. The DGCA has recently directed PW to have an maintenance repair overhaul (MRO) in India given the number of PW-powered neos in India with IndiGo being the biggest operator of this combo.
The latest issue is powder metal contamination. “Globally, we understand that a large number of incremental engines ranging between 600-700 are being removed for accelerated inspections and shop visits between 2023 and 2026 and two thirds of these engine removals are planned for 2023 and early 2024,” IndiGo said in a statement Tuesday.
“We have recently received additional information on the powder metal issue from Pratt & Whitney and
based on our preliminary assessment of this, we anticipate Aircraft on Ground (AOG) in the range of mid-
thirties in the fourth quarter (Jan-Mar2024) due to accelerated engine removals. These groundings will be
incremental to the current AOGs,” said the statement.
IndiGo has been trying to get Airbus A320ceos (old gen that do not have GTF engines). It has leased several planes to avoid a capacity crunch due to more AoGs in coming months.
“…we continue to work with Pratt & Whitney on more information and addressing the situation and implementing mitigation measures to minimize the impact of these AOGs on our capacity in Q4 FY23-24 (January-Match 2024) and beyond,” the statement added