New Delhi - The Indian aviation authority has suspended flights for all A320neo aircraft powered by the latest engines from the US manufacturer Pratt & Whitney. DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Government of India) took this decision after recent engine failures in flight.
11 A320neo are subject to the operational restriction. The jets in question are from IndiGo and GoAir, according to a government official who spoke to Bloomberg news agency.
Airbus has been struggling with PW1100G engine problems installed on the A320neo models for more than two years. The geared turbofan engine, which is in service around half of the jets in service, had caused major delays in deliveries in 2016 and 2017.
At first, there were only overheating and software problems. But a new type of knife-edge compressor seal used in the engines since December 2017, has triggered a new problem such as engine failures on take-off and in flight.
The US and EU aviation authorities have already published an emergency airworthiness directive and imposed operational restrictions on the devices affected by the recent problem. However, it was only for the aircraft on which both engines contain the problematic type of seal.
But the Indian civil aviation authority immediately grounded eight aircraft at IndiGo, and three at GoAir. The decision comes after three in-flight shutdowns, two of which occurred in the past week, according to the DGCA.
IndiGo, the largest airline operator in India, currently operates 32 Airbus A320neo, and GoAir operates 13 A320neo.