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India’s DGCA orders all A320neo PW engines replaced

Indian authorities have instructed the country's Airbus A320neo operators to replace the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines on the type with an upgraded version of the powerplant by the end of January 2020.

IndiGo and GoAir each have the PW1100G on their A320neo fleets.

Civil aviation regulator DGCA issued a directive a week ago requiring the two carriers to have at least one modified engine on aircraft with more than 2,900h. The airlines were given up to 19 November to meet this requirement.

But on 1 November, the regulator ordered the carriers to ensure that all their A320neos have both powerplants modified with new third-stage low-pressure turbines, by 31 January next year.

IndiGo says it has already modified about 45% of its A320neo engines, and is confident that it will be able to meet the deadline.

A year ago, a spate of aborted take-offs and in-flight engine shutdowns led to the grounding of 11 A320neos. Two key parts of the engine, its third-stage low-pressure turbine and gearbox, had to be replaced.

The revised requirements come after IndiGo suffered another series of engine shutdowns, its latest taking place on 1 November. The airline confirmed the engine issues in a stock exchange disclosure.

“We are working with both P&W and Airbus on mitigation so that we have enough modified spare engines by January 31, 2020,” the airline adds, pointing out that its schedules "remain intact”.

GoAir has yet to respond to FlightGlobal requests for comment.

In late August, the DGCA stated that it was keeping a close watch on the PW1100G engine performance. It imposed directives on IndiGo and GoAir, including restricting them from accepting leased engines, or engines from MROs, without modified parts.

IndiGo was an early operator of the PW1100G-powered A320neo and suffered some of the engine’s early reliability issues. Most recently at the Paris Air Show, the airline pivoted away from P&W engines to the rival CFM International Leap-1A to power 280 A320neos on order.

Cirium’s fleets data indicates GoAir operates 38 A320neos while IndiGo has 91 A320neos powered by PW1100G engines.

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