IndiGo grounds 3 A320 neo planes with Pratt & Whitney engines


"The efforts of both companies are directed to support customers and operators to minimise any disruption", Airbus says, referring to itself and P&W.

IndiGo, the world's biggest buyer of the SE A320neo, was forced to replace faulty engines that power the jetliners in 69 cases over the last 18 months.

The P&W Purepower GTF engines while key to the improved efficiency of these aircraft, had a long string of problems during testing and in service. "We have three aircraft with the particular engine configuration, which have been flagged by EASA", IndiGo said in a release.

European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) had issued a emergency airworthiness directive (EAD) on Feb 9, that warns even possibility of dual engine in-flight shut-down.

Its customers have also become less forgiving about performance standards as schedules tighten and airlines squeeze more flight hours out of their aircraft.

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The A320neo specific PW1100G has been hounded with technical problems and reliability issues, while its variants were less affected.

In a statement issued on Saturday, IndiGo confirmed that there are some issues with the engine of the said aircraft and keeping the safety as top priority, it has decided not to fly these three aircrafts. Aircraft with one affected engine are restricted from certain extended-range flights.

Neither the aircraft manufacturer nor the agency disclosed what airlines are operating aircraft with affected engines.

"As a precaution, aircraft with these engines will be addressed in a manner consistent with the operational instructions issued by Airbus, and coordinated between Airbus and Pratt & Whitney as needed".

Pratt & Whitney said the problem, related "to the knife edge seal in the High Pressure Compressor aft hub", affects "a limited subpopulation" of its PW1100G-JM engines, but gave no details.