Budget carrier IndiGo was struck by Pratt and Whitney engine issues for six of its aircrafts after which the airline grounded the said A320s, which are slated to come back in operation only in the second half of August. Following this incident, the Indian carrier announced that it would make new additions to its fleet with 24 new A321 neo aircrafts. PTI reported that a senior official from InidiGo spoke about this new purchase and highlighted that the A321 neo aircrafts are more fuel efficient and have higher seating capacity. On the other hand, InterGlobe which operates IndiGo said updating about the engine issues citing that “technical issues are under control and improvements are being initiated.”
Greg Taylor, a senior InterGlobe official said "We will take delivery of our first A321 neo aircraft over the end of the year. These are the longer version of the A320s we currently operate with higher seating capacity... what we are planning right now is taking one extra fuel tank which makes it a six-hour airplane, we can fly in six hours. We think that is going to bring lot of opportunities to international flight, that is part of our growth plans.”
24 New Members in the Fleet
It is also noteworthy that in the first week of August, IndiGo had announced that it would starting 24 new flights in India including services on four new routes. The carrier announced that the operations for the new flight and new routes would commence in September. It is likely that IndiGo would put its new A321 neo aircrafts into use for these new and existing routes.
Services on New Routes and More Flights for Existing Routes
As reported by ET, the new routes would include flights between Ahmedabad and Bhubaneswar, Ahmedabad and Varanasi, Hyderabad and Patna and Kolkata and Surat. On the existing routes, there will be additional flights by IndiGo which will include the routes between Agartala and Guwahati, Hyderabad and Guwahati, and Kolkata and Nagpur. In addition to this, the carrier will also operate a fourth flight between Hyderabad and Bhubaneswar and a fifth flight between Ahmedabad and Hyderabad.
William Boulter, the airline’s chief commercial officer said "IndiGo's domestic strategy is all about adding routes which customers demand and increasing frequency to serve them better. We offer the most comprehensive network in the country and will continue to expand it for the benefit for our clients, whose loyalty and repeat business we appreciate very much.”
Also Read : IndiGo Baggage Allowance: All You Need to Know
Grounded Aircrafts to be Back on Runway Soon
Speaking on the issue of the grounded aircrafts, Chief Operating Officer Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said, "All the technical issues are completely under control, improvements have been initiated. The aircraft with these engines are safe to fly," he further added "when you hear an aircraft is grounded means it is a planned action to put an aircraft out of service to change an engine because we know some engines are to be exchanged after certain period of time".
It is worth noting that as of now IndiGo has a fleet of more than 170 aircraft, including 40 A320 neo planes. It was in February and March this year that the aviation regulator took down 11 of IndiGo’s flights because of engine issues. Right now, the carrier operates 1,157 daily flights connecting 44 domestic destinations and eight international destinations.