While the A320neo engines may have been out of the news recently, the Pratt & Whitney engines continue to face issues. Most recently, a GoAir flight suffered an engine shutdown mid-flight, prompting renewed safety concerns. So, what is the latest on this long-standing issue? Have all airlines replaced their engines?
According to Mint, a GoAir A320neo faced troubles in September, the first such incident in the last few months. Flight G8-710 was flying from Hyderabad to Ahmedabad on September 19th when it faced possible overheating issues and had to shut down one engine. The plane made a safe landing with a single engine and there were no passengers harmed.
However, this latest incident reportedly doesn’t have anything to with the low-pressure turbine or vibration issues, which has plagued the engine for the last few years. This means it could be unrelated to the ongoing issues.
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While the incident might be unrelated, it still serves as a reminder of the problems with the type. There are two major operators of the P&W A320neo engines in India, IndiGo and GoAir, both of whom have struggled due to possible groundings.
Last month, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said GoAir and IndiGo will not continue to fly aircraft that do not have replaced engines. While this may have meant chaos and cancelations last year, both IndiGo and GoAir have almost replaced all their engines.
IndiGo has replaced all its 134 planes A320neo and A321neo fleets with the P&W engines, while GoAir has completed 30 out 46 aircraft replacements. The latter will now have to ground the 16 aircraft until their engines are replaced too.
As another step towards enhancing air safety in our country & leaving nothing to chance, @DGCAIndia has asked @IndiGo6E & @goairlinesindia not to fly any aircraft without both Neo engines modified.@PMOIndia @HMOIndia @MoCA_GoI @PIB_India
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) September 15, 2020
The DGCA originally had a deadline of May 31st to replace all engines, which was pushed to August 31st. However, now all planes without a replacement will be grounded until new engines can be installed.
The A320neo issues could be reaching their end in India as nearly all planes have had their replacements. There is currently no timeline by which GoAir will replace its fleet but we can expect it to happen in the coming months.
IndiGo making the switch
While Pratt & Whitney may be coming to close to resolve its problem, IndiGo, the world’s largest A320neo operator, is making the switch to CFM. The low-cost carrier placed a $20bn order last year for the CFM Leap-1A, which will power its newest order of A320s. IndiGo originally planned to take delivery of the new engines in 2020.
The move will likely have a major impact on P&W which has been plagued by issues in the last few years. However, the resolution of the A320neo issues can give passengers a lot more confidence when stepping on this plane in the future.
Would you fly on an A320neo with P&W engines? Do you have an engine preference? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.