With the 31 January deadline for replacing Pratt & Whitney (P&W) engines on A320neo planes looming, Directorate General of Civil Aviation chief Arun Kumar said the regulator will, in mid-January, consider giving an extension to no-frills airlines IndiGo and GoAir.

India's largest airline IndiGo and its rival GoAir are the only two airlines which use the Airbus A320neo with Pratt and Whitney engines. Following repeated snags, the regulator in November asked the airlines to get the engines changed.

"We will take a call in the middle of January after assessing the progress," Kumar told Mint in a statement.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued a fresh warning earlier this week about a potential dual-engine failure on Airbus A320neo family planes fitted with Pratt and Whitney (P&W) engines.

While EASA has set a deadline of March-end for changing at least one, if not both, engines, the DGCA has asked the two airlines to get the engines replaced by 31 January.

Since the introduction of A320neos in 2016, P&W engines have reported snags, but the EASA, the certifying body for Europe-based Airbus A320neos, had issued the first warning over the possibility of dual-engine failures, a potentially fatal flaw, involving P&W engines in February 2018.

InterGlobe Aviation Ltd’s IndiGo has 98 A320neo family aircraft—91 A320neos and seven A321neo planes—all with P&W engines, while rival GoAir’s fleet has 37 A320neos with 13 affected engines.

A320neos operated by Air India and Vistara, besides other major airlines, however, use CFM International engines, a joint venture between US’s General Electric and French engine manufacturer Safran S.A. These aircraft are not under the scanner.

My Reads Logout