At higher altitudes, air density is lower and the engine must work harder to develop the same thrust, increasing temperature. Lower altitude could help keep the temperatures down. However, flying lower in denser air consumes more fuel, another person familiar with the matter said, also on condition of anonymity.
“There is a certain increase—about 4-6% in fuel burn. That’s the broad range. There was a recommendation from Pratt & Whitney; naturally, this seems to be the optimum altitude until the fix comes in, which is expected very soon," this person said.
GoAir has 139 more A320neos on order with Airbus. The airline plans to use them for international operations expected to start this year.
A GoAir spokesperson declined to comment for the story.
A320neos have had a tough time this year. In January, an IndiGo flight had a so-called rejected take-off at Mumbai. In February, a GoAir flight from Delhi had to return to the airport after an engine fire 15 minutes into the flight. In the same month, a GoAir flight had to make an emergency landing and an IndiGo flight had to fly minus passengers to Delhi from Baroda.
GoAir CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said in an interview in February that Pratt & Whitney “will support us properly with spare engines and other support needs to be there so we can overcome the initial phase and don’t have any flight disruptions" and a full fix could take about 18 months.
Pratt & Whitney hasn’t offered comments on the matter but has said its engines are safe to fly.
Directorate General of Civil Aviation has asked IndiGo and GoAir to increase surveillance of these planes, besides specifying other restrictions on when and where to fly them.
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