IndiGo and GoAir cancel 70 flights over engine concerns

Mid-air engine failure DGCA grounds 11 A320 neo planes with Pratt & Whitney engines

A senior DGCA official said 8 aircraft of IndiGo would be grounded.

The Airbus A320 Neo plane had 186 passengers on board.

DGCA said there had been three such incidents in 2018 - two involving IndiGo and one with an GoAir aircraft. "We are working to mitigate the Aircraft on Ground (AOG) situation by the end of the second quarter".

Indian carriers have had three mid-air engine failures in less than a month, and the latest directive takes the total number of P&W geared turbofan-powered A320neos grounded to 14.

Meanwhile, Vistara said the move by the aviation regulator has had no impact on its operations as its A320 Neos are fitted with a different engine. Budget airlines IndiGo and GoAir operated this brand of Airbus. The aircraft landed safely on one engine with no injuries.

IndiGo said these were related to non-detection of chip, carbon seal lining or combustor chamber lining in Pratt & Whitney 1100 series engines.

The grounding follows the emergency landing of an IndiGo A320neo in in Ahmedabad on a service from Lucknow on 12 March. As recently as February, the DGCA had ordered IndiGo to not fly three of its jets.

"At GoAir, the safety and security of passengers and crew is always accorded high priority and never compromised under any circumstance", the statement said.

PTI quoted a source as saying that "hundreds of passengers were stranded" after the flights were grounded. An aircraft, on average, operates seven to eight trips a day and considering that 11 aircraft have been grounded, the number of cancelled flights could soar quickly besides the leading to cascading delays.

"Since the grounding is with immediate effect, it has sent our operations for a toss".

IndiGo announced on its website the cancellations of some 47 flights across its domestic network for Tuesday.

"All affected passengers have been given the option to either choose another flight at no additional cost or cancel their booking and get a full refund without any cancellation charges".

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