In a major relief to IndiGo and GoAir, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has extended the deadline for engine replacement of its A320neo fleet to August 31 from May 31 earlier as supply chains are disrupted due to COVID-19.
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Both airlines have to replace nearly 60 A320neo engines, the regulator said.
This is the second extension of this deadline. Earlier, the regulator had extended the deadline to May 31 from Jan 31. "Supply chains and production lines all got impacted and in turn disturbed the process. Keeping all this in view, we have extended the deadline by 3 months; up to 31st of August 2020," the regulator said.
The regulator has also instructed airlines that for the current times, those aircraft which have both engines modified, should be flown. "This should not be difficult as the curtailed operations are likely to last for some more time," a senior official at DGCA said.
In January, IndiGo had to replace 135 engines and was able to place one modified engine on its entire fleet, ahead of March 2020 timeline set by European aviation regulator European Union Aviation Safety Agency.
In October and November 2019, the regulator had asked IndiGo to replace one of the two engines of 23 Pratt & Whitney-run A320neo aircraft (both engines of which have done more than 2900 FH). This was done to address the issues in the low-pressure turbine (LPT) which result in the breakage of LPT blades, engine vibration and then return of aircraft back to the ground.
The regulator had intervened after four incidents of air "turn back" or "inflight shutdown" over the last week of October in the Pratt & Whitney-run A320neos. As a result, the DGCA had asked IndiGo and GoAir, the two airlines which operate on Pratt & Whitney A320neo in India, to replace both engines of these Aircraft.
First Published: IST