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India’s IndiGo grounds eight planes amid engine shortages

Carrier has faced Airbus delivery delays due to engine issues

Gulf News


India’s biggest airline IndiGo said on Friday it had grounded eight Airbus A320neo jets because it could not get its hands on spare engines, the latest hit to its fleet related to the Pratt and Whitney-made engines in the aircraft.

IndiGo and rival GoAir have been facing delays in receiving planes from Airbus due to ongoing problems with engines developed by Pratt and Whitney, owned by United Technologies.

Local media reported that 13 planes had been grounded, and that the airline was forced to cancel 84 flights.

IndiGo, owned by InterGlobe Aviation, said in a statement that only eight were grounded and did not say when it had happened. The airline said it had previously flagged the grounding of nine A320neos in June because of a lack of spare engines.

Indigo said four planes were currently grounded because the engines were stuck at customs, which the company linked to clarifications related to a new Indian sales tax.

This “has led to unplanned flight cancellations. All passengers have been informed of the changes and accommodated accordingly,” IndiGo said.

IndiGo said in an earlier statement that some sections of the media were spreading misleading information on the cancellations.

“Our schedule has already been planned in the month of June on non-availability of these aircraft for the month of July, August and September. The affected passengers have already been accommodated with suitable options,” it said.

IndiGo, which flies four in every 10 Indian air passengers, operates around 900 daily flights.

Shares in InterGlobe closed down 3.27 per cent, against a 0.85 per cent drop in the wider market.