InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, which operates the country’s largest domestic airline, on Sunday said that it has grounded an Airbus A320 Neo aircraft due to engine issues.
The airline, which has grounded several Airbus A320 Neo planes in the past one year due to glitches in the Pratt & Whitney (P&W) engines, said that the aircraft will be subjected to further maintenance and engine change.
“IndiGo flight 6E-447, which was scheduled to operate on the Lucknow-Delhi route on 31 January was grounded as a precautionary measure. After taxi out the pilot noticed an error in the engine parameter," IndiGo said in a statement.
“As a caution, he returned the aircraft to the bay. After inspection of the aircraft engine by the IndiGo technical team, the aircraft was grounded for further maintenance and the engine will be changed," it added.
IndiGo didn’t elaborate on the nature of the engine issues that led to the grounding. Mint could not independently ascertain the nature of the problem that led to the latest grounding of the IndiGo aircraft.
A P&W India spokesperson said that it was highly unlikely that the latest grounding was due to a new (engine) issue. There have been several problems with P&W engines in the past, including the ‘knife edge seal’, which was addressed in early 2018. In recent months, four of the five major factors, including issues with the combustor, the number three bearing, upgrades and status of retrofits, cabin odour and smoke, and low pressure turbine, have been addressed.
The problem with the main gearbox is yet to be addressed.
The company is carrying out a root cause analysis for the main gear box and the results are expected in the coming weeks, the P&W India spokesperson added.
“We have over 350 aircraft with P&W engines in service now. So, if we have three events (glitches on main gearbox), it’s effectively affecting only a small percentage (of engines)," Mark Cryan, vice-president, customers, India, Middle East and Africa, for commercial engines at P&W, had said in an interview earlier this month.
However, engine problems continue even after the A320 Neo planes have completed one million hours of service with P&W engines, a time frame considered significant to identify and resolve problems with a new aircraft engine.