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After IndiGo, GoAir faces A320neo engine woes

After IndiGo, GoAir faces A320neo engine woes

2017 07 28

2017 07 28

NEW DELHI:  Pratt & Whitney's snag-prone engines for the Airbus A-320 new engine option (Neo) continues to trouble both the airlines - IndiGo and GoAir - using this combination in India. GoAir is also facing possible NEO grounding.

GoAir has been sending mails to passengers about some flight cancellations as the engine trouble has meant slower than expected deliveries of the aircraft from Airbus. "The reason for the cancellation is the delay from Airbus on account of Pratt & Whitney powered engine delivery. We regret the inconvenience caused. These changes are due to issues beyond our control and our customer care team will call you ... for free rebooking or full refund," says a mail sent by GoAir to a passenger who had booked an Ahmedabad-Bengaluru flight for August, informing him about the flight being cancelled.

GoAir did not say how many A-320 Neos it was supposed to get till now as per original delivery schedule and how many it has actually got so far. The Wadia group airline has 5 A-320 Neos. One of these has been grounded for engine replacement, adding to the airline's troubles.

Globally till February 24, 2017, 42 PW 1100G engines (fitted on A-320 Neos) have been prematurely removed from aircraft due to different technical reasons.

PW had recently told TOI that it "is actively working with customers in India and supporting them in their daily operations". P&W's A-320 Neo engines have been plagued with issues like slow engine startup times and erroneous engine software messages in the new engine.

With 430 A320neo family planes on order, IndiGo is Airbus's biggest customer globally for this aircraft. GoAir has ordered 72 A320neos with PW engines and is yet to decide the engine for an additional order of 72 Neos it confirmed last year.

This March, PW had asked the two LCCs to fly these planes at a lower altitude -- 30,000 feet instead of the higher levels of 36-37,000 feet. While the denser air of lower levels will mean putting less pressure on the engine, flying lower will also lead to increased fuel consumption for airlines. Less fuel burn was supposed to be the USP of the A-320 Neo, Earlier this year, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation had ordered immediate examination of PW on the A-320 Neos.

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