Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has extended the deadline set for low-cost carrier IndiGo to replace all 135 unmodified Pratt and Whitney (PW) engines from January 31 to May 31. The budget carrier was earlier asked to present a "complete action plan" on how it would procure and replace PW engines on all its aircraft by January 31. However, the deadline has now been extended by four months.
On November last year, the aviation regulator had directed IndiGo to modify Pratt & Whitney engines in all Airbus A320neo aircraft at "all costs" or get grounded.
"Kindly note that after that none of these 23 aircraft, which does not have at least one LPT (low-pressure turbine) modified engine on its wings, shall be allowed for commercial operation and their schedule will suitably be curtailed till this is accomplished," the DGCA said.
The DGCA warning had come after the airline reported four-engine malfunctions in A320neo planes in a month, which caused serious concern and resultant disruption.
A320neo -- which is an upgraded, more fuel-efficient model of the extremely popular Airbus A320 family -- has been posing problems for many airlines due to its snag-prone Pratt & Whitney engines.
On October 29, IndiGo had announced that it would buy 300 "Airbus 320neo family" planes, which comprised A320neo, A321neo and A321XLR aircraft. However, the budget carrier made it clear that the choice of engine manufacturer for this order would be made at a later date.
With a fleet of around 247 planes and a share of around 47 per cent of the domestic air passenger market, IndiGo is India's largest airline.
Edited by Manoj Sharma