IndiGo (Interglobe Aviation Ltd), India’s biggest carrier by market share, and rival GoAir were forced to ground Airbus A320neo aircraft on several occasions over the past year due to problems with the planes’ Pratt & Whitney engines.
IndiGo is Airbus’s biggest customer for the A320neo, all of which are fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines. Low-cost carriers IndiGo and GoAir together have over 500 such planes on order.
Airbus in July said it had a backlog of up to 100 A320neo jets on the ground outside factories due to delays in engine deliveries, mainly from Pratt & Whitney.
Indian airlines IndiGo and GoAir, aircraft manufacturer Airbus SA and engine maker Pratt & Whitney will meet Indian civil aviation ministry officials on Tuesday to discuss ongoing issues with engines fitted to Airbus A320neo planes, three people familiar with the matter told media.
Recent incidents involved an IndiGo aircraft making an emergency landing on 11 December due to smoke in the cabin. In another case, on 3 January, an IndiGo plane had to return to its base due to a technical problem.
The government officials at the meeting may ask the airlines to refrain from putting into service further planes fitted with the engines—and even ground existing ones—until problems are resolved, The Economic Times reported earlier on Tuesday, citing an unidentified source.
The ministry of civil aviation, GoAir and Airbus did not immediately respond to requests for comment. IndiGo, owned by Interglobe Aviation, and Pratt & Whitney, owned by United Technologies Ltd, declined to comment.