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IndiGo likely to ground 35 aircraft Jan-Mar due to powder metal issue in P&W engines
Aircraft grounding
Photo courtesy: Wallpaper Cave

IndiGo likely to ground 35 aircraft Jan-Mar due to powder metal issue in P&W engines

| @indiablooms | 07 Nov 2023, 11:16 pm

Gurugram: IndiGo, the largest domestic carrier in India in terms of market share and fleet size, Tuesday stated that based on its initial assessment and information provided by Pratt & Whitney about the engine powder metal problem, it expects that 35 aircraft will be out of service during the January-March quarter or the fourth quarter of the 2023-24 fiscal year.

 

The 35 aircraft expected to be grounded in January will be in addition to the planes IndiGo has already taken out of operation due to existing supply chain challenges, as mentioned in the airline's press release.

Currently, IndiGo operates a total of 334 aircraft, including 176 A320neo models, and has more than 40 aircraft grounded due to P&W engine issues.

"We anticipate Aircraft on Ground (AOG) in the range of mid-thirties in the fourth quarter (Jan-Mar 2024) due to accelerated engine removals. These groundings will be incremental to the current AOGs," IndiGo said.

In September, RTX Corp, the parent company of Pratt & Whitney, made an announcement regarding an expansion of recent engine inspections.

This issue, initially revealed by the company in July, arises from flaws in the powder metal used in the production of certain Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan engines, which can lead to the development of cracks.

RTX further stated that approximately 600 to 700 engines, more than the company's initial estimate, will need to be taken out for shop visits by the year 2026.

During our recent Q2 earnings call, IndiGo said, it had already indicated a likely increase in the number of engine removals in Q4 (Jan-Mar24) leading to a higher number of groundings in light of this powder metal issue.

Based on this recent information as received, the airline said it can reconfirm its given capacity guidance for Q3 (Oct-Dec23).

“In addition, we also confirm our earlier capacity guidance for the entire FY23-24 ‘in the North of mid-teens’ significantly aided by proactive mitigation measures taken earlier by IndiGo. Going forward, we continue to work with Pratt & Whitney on more information and addressing the situation and implementing mitigation measures to minimize the impact of these AOGs on our capacity in Q4 FY23-24 and beyond.  IndiGo also remains confident in meeting its long-term capacity guidance,” it added.

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