GoAir expects that increased availability of spare leased Pratt & Whitney PW1100G geared turbofan engines will soon allow it to fully utilise its Airbus A320neos.

The Indian low-cost carrier has been forced to ground some of its 17 A320neos due to combustor and knife-edge seal issues with the engines, and Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that two are presently in temporary storage.

Speaking in a television interview with BloombergQuint on 30 August, chief executive Cornelis Vrieswijk said that the airline is now seeing more spare PW1100Gs available to cover those taken off-wing for inspections and repairs.

"There is a significant supply of lease engines now available for us in order to cope with the problem [of grounded aircraft].... I think the supply of lease engines... will help us to fly the total [A320neo] fleet, and going forward I anticipate this problem will be [under] control."

Vrieswijk adds that most of GoAir's 17 A320neos currently have the latest production standard 'Block C' PW1100G engines, which features a new combustor liner, although "one or two" still use older Block B engines that are on a preventive inspection programme.

That programme mimimises the risk of in-flight shutdowns, as it allows them to monitor the engines for deterioration, allowing them to be removed before causing a major issue.

"The Block C is behaving a lot better than the Block B going forward," Vrieswijk adds.

Despite the issues it has experienced with the PW1100Gs, he adds that overall the A320neos are showing an 18%-19% improvement in fuel burn compared with its baseline A320s.

It selected the P&W engine to power 72 A320neos that were ordered in 2011. It then placed a follow-on order for 72 more of the type at the 2016 Farnborough air show, but left open a potential switch to CFM International Leap-1A engines by confirming that it would hold a new engine competition for those aircraft.

It has yet to announce which engines will power those jets, but Vrieswijk notes that at the present time, "both engines have not been flying to a mature stage, so it is very hard to understand and to know which engine will be the better engine in the longer term."

On future fleet expansion, Vrieswijk says that GoAir will take delivery of "10 to 13 more" A320neos by the end of March 2019.

Source: Cirium Dashboard