Pilot Career Center - Global
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Airbus neo issues affecting GoAir's growth plans, says CEO

Airbus neo issues affecting GoAir's growth plans

2018 07 03

2018 07 03

The airline is nevertheless going ahead with its muchdelayed plans of starting international operations in the next few weeks.

Ongoing issues with Pratt & Whitney’s PW1100G engines powering the Airbus A320neo planes and resultant delays in deliveries have badly affected GoAir’s growth plans and put the airline in a constant state of uncertainty, its newly appointed CEO, Cornelis Vrieswijk has said.

He added that neither the plane maker nor the engine manufacturer “are very supportive” towards their customer on this issue. The airline is nevertheless going ahead with its much delayed plans of starting international operations in the next few weeks, he said.

"In terms of planning, it's very difficult. There is uncertainty about when the planes will arrive. Airbus is of course dependant on Pratt & Whitney for the engines. Also, I could say Airbus and Pratt & Whitney are not very supportive to help us through this storm,” Vrieswijk said.

“You would expect, when you are in a situation like that, to solve the problem together. The togetherness (in this case) is not necessarily to the level I would expect. We have no firm indication on when those engines will arrive. For example, we have one (engine delivery) planned in July and another in August. But these are tentative plans. We don't know when they will arrive or whether they will arrive,” he said, adding he hasn’t seen an issue like this in his entire career, spanning close to 40 years.

Vrieswijk was the COO of British low-cost carrier easyJet for 5 years apart from holding key positions in travel company Thomas Cook, and Dutch carriers Transavia and KLM. The engines have been troubled with various entry-into-service issues. Both IndiGo and GoAir have ordered the PW1100 geared turbofan engine and 40% of A320neos around the world are powered by them.

The issues have delayed GoAir’s plans of starting regional international flights and of going for an IPO. A significant number of new, fuel efficient planes would have bolstered the airline’s valuation.

IndiGo which too has faced delays, has leased several planes of the earlier version, the A320ceos so that its expansion plans are on track. Vrieswijk said GoAir has no plan to lease planes in the interim. He also said plans of an IPO are currently on the backburner.

The airline had been on the verge of appointing Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Kotak Mahindra Bank in 2015 to manage the IPO. That never happened. Vrieswijk said the airline currently has two planes on ground. He said that if the current backlog continues, the number could go up to 5-6 by the end of this year.

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