New Delhi, Mar 13: Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu on Tuesday said the DGCA decision to ground certain A320 neo aircraft with faulty engines is "only for passenger safety". Prabhu expressed hope that airlines would restore the flights as soon as possible.
The aviation regulator's move has resulted in flight cancellations by IndiGo and GoAir as the two airlines have grounded 11 A320 neo aircraft following the directive. Against this backdrop, Prabhu said it is DGCA's prerogative and that safety is paramount.
"This is only for passenger safety and airlines have also responded positively. They would like to restore the flights as soon as possible by making alternative arrangements. But we cannot play with any issue related to safety and safety is paramount," he told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.
Prabhu took over the additional charge of Civil Aviation Ministry on Monday. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has grounded 11 A320 neo planes powered with a certain series of Pratt & Whitney engines following three incidents of mid-air engine failures in less than a month. A total of 14 A320 neo aircraft fitted with a specific series of engines -- 11 operated by IndiGo and 3 by GoAir -- have now been grounded. Three IndiGo planes were grounded last month.