IndiGo May Get Extension On A320neo Engine Replacement Timeframe

IndiGo may receive an extension on the timeline for replacing Airbus A320neo Pratt & Whitney engines. This would give the low-cost carrier some breathing room for replacing engines on a significant portion of the airline’s fleet.

IndiGo A320neo
IndiGo may receive an extension to replace engines on A320neo aircraft. Photo: Getty Images

IndiGo extension on A320neo engine replacements

Recently, the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation, or DGCA, asked IndiGo to replace Airbus A320neo engines. The timeline given required the airline to replace engines on near 100 aircraft in a matter of 13 weeks. This mammoth task would require a significant portion of IndiGo’s fleet to be out of commission at various points. Ultimately, this would wreak havoc on the airline’s flight schedules.

IndiGo A320neo
IndiGo only had about 13 weeks to replace engines on close to 100 aircraft. Photo: Airbus

Now, Firstpost reports that the low-cost carrier could receive an extension on Pratt & Whitney engine replacements. This has not been finalized yet, however. The DGCA will instead evaluate the situation in mid-January and make a decision. This would be only a couple weeks before the deadline for engine replacements.

A320neo
The DGCA will evaluate the situation further in January before granting the extension. Photo: Airbus

What is wrong with IndiGo’s A320neo engines?

Within a short period of time, IndiGo faced several A320neo engine issues during flight. This issue is known amongst Pratt & Whitney engines that power this aircraft family. However, airlines around the world are still flying this aircraft. But, given that IndiGo’s A320neos faced several incidents within a period of a few weeks, the DGCA took a more cautious approach and mandated a replacement of these engines. Moreover, the DGCA also has looked into whether the airline’s takeoff procedures could lead to engine issues.

IndiGo takeoff Airbus
IndiGo faced a series of incidents regarding A320neo engines which led to the DGCA’s order. Photo: Airbus

IndiGo, however, is not the only Indian airline to face such issues. Fellow competitor budget airline, GoAir, also faced engine issues on the Airbus A320neo. However, GoAir has a fewer number of Airbus A320neo aircraft than IndiGo. IndiGo, in fact, is the largest customer for the A320neo.

GoAir A320neo
Indian low-cost carrier, GoAir, has also seen issues regarding A320neo engines. Photo: Airbus

 

What happens if the engines are not replaced in time?

On aircraft that do not undergo the P&W engine replacements, the DGCA will move to ground those aircraft until maintenance is complete. If the DGCA does not extend the timeline for IndiGo to replace the engines, then IndiGo could see several aircraft abruptly put out of service. For one of India’s fastest-growing and largest carriers, this would be a huge blow to the airline’s schedules.

IndiGo A320
While IndiGo does have a significant number of A320ceo aircraft, the A320neo makes up a significant portion of the airline’s fleet. Photo: Tjeerd Wiersma via Flickr

Overall

When an airline has to do maintenance or ground one of the backbone of the airline’s fleet, this can create some incredible headaches for airline management, schedulers, and passengers. If IndiGo does receive an extension, this timeline could give the airline some breathing room in terms of maintaining operational integrity. In the case where the airline does not receive an extension, this could abruptly cause a number of flight cancellations or delays. However, this will only be known in January.

What do you make of this possible extension? Do you think IndiGo will receive an extension? Let us know in the comments!

Simple Flying reached out to IndiGo for comment. However, by the time of publication, IndiGo had not responded.

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