A day after the aviation regulator grounded 11 A320 neo aircraft of IndiGo and GoAir over faulty engines, the two carriers have cancelled over 60 flights causing inconvenience to hundreds of flyers. While IndiGo cancelled 47 of its 1,000 flights per day, the other low-cost carrier GoAir said it had cancelled 18 flights.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event, aviation minister Suresh Prabhu said DGCA decision to ground certain A320 neo aircraft with faulty engines is “only for passenger safety” and hoped that the airlines would restore the flights as soon as possible.
“This is only for passenger safety and airlines have also responded positively. They would like to restore the flights as soon as possible by making alternative arrangements. But we cannot play with any issue related to safety and safety is paramount,” he said.
Commerce minister Prabhu took over the additional charge of the civil aviation ministry on Monday after the TDP leader Ashok Gajapathi Raju resigned from the post last week.
DGCA has grounded 11 A320 neo planes powered with a certain series of Pratt & Whitney engines following three incidents of mid-air engine failures in less than a month. Fourteen A320 neo aircraft fitted with a specific series of engines – 11 operated by IndiGo and 3 by GoAir – have now been grounded. Three IndiGo planes had been grounded last month.
The aviation regulator cracked the whip on risky planes after a Lucknow-bound IndiGo flight returned to Ahmedabad within 40 minutes of its getting airborne due to a mid-air engine failure on Monday.
Citing safety of aircraft operations, the DGCA director, in the March 12 order, said A320 neos fitted with PW1100 engines beyond ESN 450 have been grounded with immediate effect.