A day after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) ordered the grounding of 11 aircraft belonging to IndiGo and GoAir, the companies on Tuesday cancelled at least 65 other flights. IndiGo has cancelled 47 flights, while the Wadia Group-promoted GoAir cancelled 18 flights.
On Monday, the aviation regulator had disallowed the companies from flying their Airbus A320neo aircraft, after finding they had faulty Pratt & Whitney engines. Speaking to reporters outside Parliament, MoS Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said, “Safety is priority. 43 such engines (PW1100) are there worldwide out of which 19 are in India and are being used by Indigo, GoAir. We don’t consider these safe. Technical analysis is underway and these engines can only be used when we consider it safe,”
“IndiGo has cancelled certain flights due to the grounding of our aircraft further to the DGCA directions which has been issued in the interest of safety,” the airline said today, in a statement. “While we understand that this may cause inconvenience to some of our passengers, given that we have multiple flights to the same destination, we are proactively re-accommodating all our affected passengers on other flights,” he added.
The DGCA’s directive on Monday came in the wake of IndiGo aircraft enroute Lucknow being forced to return to Ahmedabad after developing a mid-air snag. “Keeping in mind the safety of aircraft operations, A320neos fitted with PW1100 engines beyond engine serial number 450 have been grounded with immediate effect. Both IndiGo and GoAir have been told not to refit these engines, which are spare with them in their inventory,” DGCA had said.
While both companies are complying with the directive, it has affected hundreds of passengers across the country. IndiGo operates around 1,000 flights a day, while GoAir flies 230. IndiGo’s market share is around 40 per cent of domestic flyers, against GoAir’s 10 per cent.
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