Engine headwinds ground 50 IndiGo, GoFirst planes
The country’s largest airline IndiGo is looking at various options, including slowing down redeliveries through lease extensions, exploring the re-induction of aircraft into the fleet, and evaluating the wet lease options within the regulatory guidelines
NEW DELHI: More than 50 planes of IndiGo and Go First are on the ground due to Pratt & Whitney engine woes amid persisting supply chain headwinds, forcing airlines to explore wet leasing of aircraft and other options to minimise disruptions, said officials.
The country’s largest airline IndiGo is looking at various options, including slowing down redeliveries through lease extensions, exploring the re-induction of aircraft into the fleet, and evaluating the wet lease options within the regulatory guidelines.
While the global supply chain issues continue, especially in the wake of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Pratt & Whitney (P&W) engine problems have been there for quite sometime. Few months back, senior civil aviation ministry officials also had discussions with the engine maker on ways to improve the supply situation.
A senior government official said there are at least 25 aircraft each of IndiGo and Go First that are on the ground due to P&W engine problems, and the engine maker is not able to ensure timely deliveries on account of supply chain disruptions.
However, flight tracking website flightradar24.com said 39 aircraft of IndiGo, comprising 28 A320 neo and 11 A321 were on ground as on February 26.
Against the backdrop of continuing engine woes, a senior official at one of the budget carriers on the condition of anonymity said there is also a thought of changing the engine supplier for its next order to overcome the persistent problems with P&W engines.
When asked for comments about the grounding of at least 50 planes of the two carriers and steps taken to address the issues, a P&W spokesperson said it expects the “pressures to begin to ease later this year” but did not mention about the number of aircraft that have been impacted.
“Like many in industry, we are experiencing global supply chain challenges, which are limiting the availability of structural castings and other parts and we are working mitigation strategies with our supply base and expanding MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) network capacity. “At the same time, we’re continuing upgrades to extend engine time on wing,” the spokesperson said.