AIRBUS A320NEO JETS CROSS 100 MARK IN INDIA
The number of Airbus A320neo airliners in the country has crossed the 100 mark, including 50 with budget carrier IndiGo Airlines alone. This is despite some of these planes with Pratt & Whitney (P&W) engines reporting serious glitches such as mid-air engine shut-down. At present, the four domestic carriers Air India, IndiGo, GoAir and Vistara have the A320neo airplanes in their fleets beside other aircraft. The A320neos operated by IndiGo and GoAir are fitted with P&W engines, while the planes in Air India and Vistara fleets are powered by CFM engines. “With budget carrier IndiGo taking five aircraft in the previous month, the number of A320neo planes in the country now stands at 102,” according to a source.
IndiGo has now 50 A320neo aircraft, followed by GoAir which has 22. Air India so far has inducted 21 such planes while Vistara has taken delivery of nine of these planes, as per the source. IndiGo was the first carrier in Asia to have inducted this latest narrow-body plane from Airbus. It took delivery of the first aircraft in March 2016. Both IndiGo and GoAir together have inducted 26 such planes after the resumption of deliveries in May, which had been put on hold by Airbus following a series of incidents involving the planes with P&W engines. These two airlines have been struggling with the P&W engines in the A320neo aircraft. The problems, including engine failure, also led to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) grounding 11 aircraft operated by the two carriers in March 2018 and then again another nine planes in August 2018. The Minister of Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu had also sought a detailed report on the matter from the DGCA.