IndiGo and GoAir cancelled another 70 flights on Tuesday — a day after the airlines had to ground 11 planes following the aviation regulator’s order on this — because of a recurring malfunction in engines. The airlines said the affected passengers would be accommodated in other aircraft, though a change in schedule was likely. The problem stems from a component in certain engines manufactured by Pratt and Whitney (PW), which can show early signs of wear, and is located in an area that must withstand high pressure. A senior airline official said the grounding was taking a toll as the airlines had very little scope to alter their network, since they had taken the planes into consideration while making the schedule. “There will be cancellations till the start of a new schedule on March 25. We have a large network and multiple flights from one point to another, so we can accommodate the passengers in other planes. Necessary information is being shared with affected flyers,” a senior IndiGo official said. PW has said that the issue will be resolved only by the end of June. “The corrective action has been approved and we have already begun to deliver production engines with the upgraded configuration. We are working to mitigate the situation by the end of the second quarter,” the engine manufacturer said in a statement. The impact of the inability to add new A320 neo planes on IndiGo’s market share is likely to be minimal, since none of the rival carriers have any major expansion plans. Closest competitor SpiceJet’s planned induction of Boeing 737 Max was slated for August. GoAir being a much smaller player was also likely to see less impact on its market share, but would face a delay in commencing international operations, which was scheduled to start last year. IndiGo now plans to become aggressive in the secondary lease market.
Source: Business Standard