IndiGo Receives a Slight Relief as DGCA Decides to Extend Deadline to Replace P&W Engines

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IndiGo has received a deadline extension of up to May 31 for replacing all the unmodified Pratt and Whitney (P&W) engines. The DGCA or Directorate General of Civil Aviation had earlier ordered IndiGo to replace all the engines on A320neo aircraft by January 31. The deadline extension comes on the backing of new plan submission by IndiGo in which it confirmed to replace all 135 flight engines by June-end. The DGCA also confirmed that IndiGo has replaced at least one engine in its A320neo fleet.

IndiGo Requests DGCA for Deadline Extension of P&W Engines Replacement

Last year, after multiple engine shutdowns on IndiGo's A320neo flights, the DGCA ordered the airline to replace all the P&W Engines by January 31, 2020. Initially, it was expected that IndiGo will have to replace the engines of 120 flights, however, the number is now said to be 135. “As per the initial count a total number of 120 modified engines were required to be placed on the fleet of M/s IndiGo, however, this number is likely to be about 135,” DGCA said in a statement.

The reason behind the extension is the new plan submitted by IndiGo. In the new plan, IndiGo requested DGCA that it will procure and replace 135 engines by June-end. The new deadline for IndiGo has been set as May 31. After the deadline, IndiGo flights with the old engines will not be able to fly.

"IndiGo has already placed at least one modified engine in each of its A320neo fleet," a DGCA statement said. Furthermore, the regulator also confirmed mitigation measures will be put in place for IndiGo until the replacement completes.

Multiple IndiGo Flights Faced Engine Shutdown Issues Last Year

To recall, the DGCA first ordered IndiGo to replace old P&W engines in October 2019. During the same month, IndiGo's A320neos faced multiple shutdowns, and in November 2019, IndiGo was stopped from operating aircrafts with older engines. A DGCA inspection report on A320neos also confirmed that the aircrafts with more 2,900 hours of operating time were facing issues. So it IndiGo to replace all the engines by January 31, 2020.

“It is expected that the mitigation measures put in place, such as the introduction of MTF Piston Seal (inspection) in addition to the existing boroscopic inspections and introduction of an alt climb procedure will help in containing the engine failures,” the DGCA further added.

As per its promise, IndiGo will replace the engines by May 31, 2020. If not, the non-replaced aircrafts will not be able to fly.

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