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GoAir suspends 'certain flights' on delay in aircraft, engine deliveries


Mumbai, Jan 23: In mounting woes, GoAir on Thursday announced temporary suspension of "certain flights" as there will be delay in delivery of aircraft by Airbus and engines by Pratt & Whitney.

Some scheduled flights as well as those for which ticket sales are open would be affected, the carrier said. Details about the number of flights that would be impacted were not disclosed.

Representational Image

In November and December, the airline had cancelled dozens of flights due to delay in aircraft deliveries and non-availability of engines.

A320 neos in its fleet have been facing problems with P&W engines. In the last four weeks, the carrier said, it has gone through unplanned grounding of aircraft, which were supporting its current operation of fleet.

"Now, we have been informed by our business partners Airbus and Pratt & Whitney of their inability to deliver previously promised aircraft and engines through March 9, 2020, that are required to support our current growth. "As a result, we have been forced to temporarily suspend certain flights that are part of our network, schedule and open for sale," it said in a statement.

Currently, the airline operates more than 325 daily flights and has around 60 planes in its fleet. Majority of the aircraft are A320 neos.

"GoAir is a valued customer of Airbus and we are proud of our relation. Airbus is supporting the engine maker to maintain the schedule for engine deliveries and support GoAir's smooth operations," an Airbus spokesperson said. In December, civil aviation watchdog DGCA decided to inspect all P&W engines that have been used for over 3,000 hours of GoAir's A320 neo aircraft.

The delay in delivery of planes is expected to have an impact on the budget carrier's expansion plans. Recently, the airline also came under the regulatory scanner over the pilots allegedly violating Flight Duty Time Limit (FDTL) norms.

GoAir said it remains on track to receive 12-15 aircraft each year through the end of 2025. On the back of a firm order for 144 A320neo aircraft, the business plan articulates a continued double-digit growth through 2025, it added.

Further, the airline said the suspension of flights has been undertaken as far ahead of time as possible in order to minimise inconvenience to customers.

"Despite our best efforts, we realise that our flight suspensions may inconvenience our customers, which we regret and profusely apologize. We expect - with the support of Airbus and Pratt & Whitney - to reinstate these flights and operate at the earliest opportunity," it added.

The airline flies to 36 destinations, including nine overseas cities.

"We would like to assure our customers and partners that our currently published schedule incorporates a conservative view of aircraft and engine deliveries as provided by Airbus and Pratt & Whitney to minimise, or eliminate, the need for flight cancellations in the future," the airline said.

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Regarding GoAir cancelling flights, SOTC Travel's President and Country Head, Leisure Daniel D'souza said the situation is still at a nascent stage and that it has not received many queries. "... we are monitoring the situation and its developments. We are working towards minimising the impact and inconvenience caused to our customers," he added.

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