With rising cases of problems in aircraft using PW1100 engines, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha on Tuesday said the use of Pratt and Whitney manufactured engines would be allowed only after they are "considered safe".
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) swiftly swung into action a day after an Indigo Airlines flight made an emergency landing in Ahmedabad and grounded a total of 11 aircraft fitted with a particular series of engines manufactured by Pratt and Whitney. Citing safety of aircraft operations, the DGCA order said that A320 Neos fitted with PW1100 engines beyond ESN 450 have been grounded with immediate effect.
"Safety is priority. 43 such engines (PW1100) are there worldwide out of which 19 are in India & are being used by Indigo & GoAir. We don't consider these safe, technical analysis is underway & these engines can only be used when we consider it safe," Sinha told ANI on Tuesday.
A Lucknow bound IndiGo flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Ahmedabad on Monday due to mid-air engine failure. The pilot of the Airbus A320 Neo plane, which took off from Ahmedabad around 9.00 am, requested for returning the flight after the failure of the second engine. The IndiGo airlines plane, which had 186 passengers onboard, was powered by Pratt & Whitney Neo engines.
Although most domestic airlines in India operate planes manufactured by the Airbus, this grounding of flights is going to affect IndiGo and GoAir the most. Airbus currently offers two engine choices for its Airbus A320 Neos - PW1100G-JM manufactured by Pratt and Whitney and the CFM LEAP-1A engines made by CFM. Planes operated by Vistara and Air India have CFM engines while those operated by IndiGo and GoAir have PW1100 engines.