India grounds all Airbus A320Neo jets with faulty Pratt engines

India grounds all Airbus A320Neo jets with faulty Pratt engines

However, in a statement, an IndiGo spokesperson said the airline will ground six aircraft, in addition to the three that were pulled out of operation last month after the EASA directive.

The latest groundings are expected to affect over 70 flights daily between IndiGo and GoAir.

With this, all the A320neo aircraft with PW1100 engines beyond serial number 450 have been taken off operation in India.

"Hundreds of passengers were stranded after a number of flights were cancelled by both IndiGo and GoAir in the wake of some aircraft going out of operations due to the DGCA order", a source said.

Earlier this year, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) had called for the global grounding of Airbus 320 neo aircraft due to a few occurrences of aborted take-offs and in-flight shutdowns on aircraft fitted with the PW 1100 from Serial Number 450 and beyond. European regulators had deemed the planes safe if featuring only one affected turbine. The corrective action has been approved and we have already begun to deliver production engines with the upgraded configuration.

"We are altering flight schedules and communicating the same to those affected by the last minute changes; we are making all possible arrangements to minimize the impact", GoAir said in a statement.

In less than three weeks, there have been as many incidents of in-flight shut down of A320 neos fitted with one P&W 1100 engine.

Choubey said the regulator has put in place enhanced safety checks and was satisfied with the measures with respect to the issue of oil chip detection - an issue that had plagued A320 neos powered by P&W engines.

Immediately after getting this directive, IndiGo - which at that time had 32 Neos - had grounded three Neos which had both engines of this specific variant.

However, 11 other A320 neo - 8 of IndiGo and 3 of GoAir - were allowed to operate as they were fitted with only one such affected engine, the release said.

DGCA said it has not got a "firm commitment" from the USA engine manufacturer on addressing fresh safety concerns, which forced it to ground the fleet.

In February, the U.S. aviation regulator said the Pratt & Whitney engines pose a shutdown risk, following similar action by European regulators that month.