Airbus A320 endangering passenger safety: Ordered grounded

"The issue has been rectified and the aircraft is now fit to fly".

Among the 11 Airbus A320neo planes grounded by DGCA, eight belong to InterGlobe Aviation-operated IndiGo and three to the Wadia Group-run GoAir.

Mumbai: Budget carrier IndiGo's woes have further compounded with as many as five of its aircraft-three A320 Neos and two A320 Ceo (current engine option) planes-facing glitches in the last 24 hours, resulting in the grounding of an A320 Neo.

A Srinagar-Amritsar bound IndiGo A320neo aircraft was grounded soon after it took off on Sunday following a hydraulic leak from its engine.

When asked about flight cancellation, the official said airlines are updating fares on their websites and if other airlines started charging higher fares, the regulator will interfere.

Low-priced carrier IndiGo on Tuesday said that it is "actively engaged" with engine manufacturer - Pratt & Whitney (P&W) - to get all of its grounded aircraft back in operation. Both these aircraft were immediately withdrawn for rectification and are now back in the sky, it added. Put together, IndiGo and GoAir have cancelled around 626 flights. The number of flights cancelled between March 25 and March 31 stands at 16 per day, the airline indicated.

This development follows P&W President Robert F. Leduc's recent declaration that all the grounded planes will be back in air soon, "You may have seen that the Indian authorities took a decision to ground the fleet in India that have engines of this". IndiGo operates a fleet of 155 aircraft and more than 1,000 operating flights daily.

The A320Neo was introduced by Airbus, and the baseline of A320neo jetliner has a choice of two new-generation engines (the PurePower PW1100G-JM from Pratt and Whitney and the LEAP-1A from CFM International) and features large, fuel-saving wingtip devices known as Sharklets. The IndiGo flight (6E 132) which was withdrawn had operated in the Bangalore-Delhi sector, following which a problem in the engine was detected by the pilot. Now all 14 A320neos in India with engines bearing serial number 450 and beyond are grounded.

Vanessa Coleman

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