Mumbai: The American aircraft engine-maker Pratt & Whitney, which has failed to resolve the issues associated with its engines fitted in A320 Neos for quite sometime now, on Monday said it is working with Airbus and its customers to minimise any “operational disruptions."
In a statement, the company said the latest issue is isolated to a limited sub-population of engines and more than 90% of aircraft powered by the PW1100G-JM engines remain in service. Significantly on Sunday, budget carrier IndiGo had said deliveries of Pratt& Whitney engine-powered A320 Neo (new engine option) aircraft have been put on hold by Airbus and the engine maker.
IndiGo, however, said it would continue to add A320 current engine options and ATR aircraft to its fleet. “Pratt & Whitney, with the support of Airbus, is in close contact with customers to address an issue that is isolated to a limited sub population of engines. In India, more than 90 per cent of aircraft powered PW1100G-JM engines remain in service. We are working with Airbus and our customers to minimise any operational disruption," the engine maker said in the statement.
The company, however, did not share the number of engines it has supplied to IndiGo and GoAir—who operate A320Neos with P&W engines. Both these airlines have placed orders for a substantial number of such planes. Following the engine problem warning, IndiGo has already grounded three of its A320 Neos that are powered by P&W engines.
The grounding of aircraft came after a directive from European Aviation Safety Agency (Easa). “The product safety boards of P&W and Airbus, post- evaluating the PW1100G-JM engine issue, have decided that all Neo deliveries are on hold till further notice," IndiGo said in a regulatory filing. The issue impacts a limited sub-population of engines and IndiGo had to ground three of its aircraft in the interim, it added.
On Saturday, a senior official at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation had said Easa had on Friday issued an emergency airworthiness directive for A320 Neos fitted with PW1100 engines having a particular serial number. The directive came in the wake of instances of the engines in-flight shut-downs and rejected take-offs involving A320 Neo family planes, the official added.
Airbus has also issued an alert for providing instructions to de-pair the affected engines and discontinue extended range twin-engine operations for aircraft fitted with affected engines. The DGCA official had said IndiGo has three such aircraft.