IndiGo's problems worsen – 5 aircraft grounded in 24 hours

Budget carrier IndiGo's problems with aircraft glitches seem to be getting worse rather than better, and the trouble is not confined to Airbus A320neos with Pratt & Whitney engines, which are causing problems worldwide.

Five of its aircraft - three A320neos and two A320ceo (current engine option) planes – have seen glitches in the last 24 hours, resulting in the grounding of another A320neo.With this, IndiGo now has as many as 12 A320neos on the ground (See: Indigo forced to ground another A320neo as P&W engine problems persist).

IndiGo in a statement on Monday said it detected five technical snags in five planes but of these only one aircraft has been grounded. The other four aircraft are back in operation.

In what was the third incident with its Airbus A320neo aircraft equipped with Pratt & Whitney's PW1100G engines in two days, IndiGo reported a fuel leak on one of the power plants of a plane. However, the airline said that the problem did not pertain to the ongoing concerns with the geared turbofan engines.

The Jammu-Delhi flight was grounded at Jammu airport. "The aircraft remained on ground till this (Sunday) afternoon. The fault could be fixed only after the spares were flown in from New Delhi and it was put back into operation," a Jammu airport source said.

An A320 (non-Neo) aircraft with VT-INZ registration and operating on Cochin-Mumbai route and another A320 (non-Neo) aircraft bearing VT-IFU registration operating on the Mumbai-Goa sector had technical snags detected during departure, IndiGo said. Both these aircraft were immediately withdrawn for rectification and are now back in the sky, it added.

These five incidents in 24 hours come days after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation DGCA had grounded 11 A320neos fitted with P&W engines of a particular series, belonging to IndiGo and GoAir.

According to monthly air traffic data released by the DGCA on Monday, during the month of February alone, 37,964 IndiGo passengers were affected due to flight cancellations, compared with 55,838 passengers affected due to flight cancellations in the 13-month period ended January 2018.

As per the information released by the aviation regulator, reasons for flight cancellations include technical causes, weather, commercial, operational and miscellaneous.

On an aggregate basis for all airlines, 55.4 per cent of the flights cancelled in February were due to technical reasons.