India’s aviation regulator asked IndiGo to ground one unmodified Airbus SE A320neo plane for every new addition to its fleet, impeding expansion at one of the world’s fastest-growing airlines.
IndiGo’s preparedness to modify its A320neo fleet by the stipulated Jan. 31 deadline didn’t instill “enough confidence,” the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said in a statement, after reviewing the company’s plans on Monday. The order will remain in force until all the engines in the fleet have been replaced.
IndiGo’s A320neo fleet is powered by engines made by Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies. The Indian government asked IndiGo, the biggest customer of A320neo models, to fix all the Pratt & Whitney engines on its Airbus planes, following multiple incidents involving flights operated by the airline.
The substitution will help avoid “large-scale disruptions” caused by grounding the entire unmodified fleet, should the airline fail to amend them on time, the regulator said.
The new aircraft will fly on the same schedule as operated by the grounded plane, the regulator said. The grounded aircraft can be allowed a fresh schedule once its engines are replaced.