Indian government has always been clear in its stance regarding the Pratt & Whitney engine fiasco. Now, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has said that the government is in close talks with the engine manufacturer.
Pratt & Whitney engine issues
In July, Raytheon Technologies, the parent company of Pratt and Whitney (P&W) in past few months announced that there is a defect in PW1100G and PW1000G variant engines. This engines powers the Airbus A320neo, Airbus A321neo, Airbus A220 and Embraer jets.
Pratt & Whitney said that between 2015 and 2021, there was a powder metal used in manufacturing of these engines. These powder is now contaminating which can potentially result in component cracking. This can cause cracks in the stage 1 and stage 2 disks in the high pressure turbine. Between 2023 and 2026, more than 1600 engines will require inspection.
How it affects India?
The question itself is wrong? Because it has already affected India. An airline has gone bankrupt because of Pratt & Whitney engine issues. It was struggling with cash. Then because of these issues, its aircraft grounding begun. At one time, half of the fleet was grounded. It kept losng revenue and cash. On May 3, it waived the white flag and requested for insolvency proceedings.
Another major victim of these issues is the largest airline in country by fleet and market share. Currently, more than 44 aircraft of IndiGo are grounded because of Pratt & Whitney engine contamination issues. As a result of this, the airline has opted for leasing some Airbus A320ceo jets from Smartlynx group. Moreover, starting next month, it will received deliveries of second hand aircraft. Details about this are not disclosed right now.
Indian Government response to Pratt & Whitney
Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said that the Indian Government is in close touch with the American Engine Manufacturer. It has clearly told Pratt & Whitney that this situation is not good and unacceptable. Indian aviation is witnessing an exponential growth and these engine issues are becoming a throne in its path.
In November month, aviation watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) asked Pratt and Whitney if it can open a MRO facility in India. 100s of engines will require inspection. Taking an engine out in India and then flying it out to foreign country will need additional capital. Best possibility can be a MRO facility in India. Pratt & Whitney at that time said that it is open to exploring options for setting up a MRO unit in India.
Senior Economic Advisor to Ministry of Civil Aviation, Piyush Shrivastava believes that if there would have been an MRO facility of P&W in India, GoFirst would have never suspended its operations. It could have been saved.
Not over yet
By first half of next year, IndiGo expects grounding of around 90 aircraft. The airline has already started to look at resources to mitigate the capacity. It has taken 11 aircraft on wet lease from Smartlynx Group. Moreover, another 12 aircraft will be leased from secondary market with deliveries starting from January month. There are high chances that a Boeing 777-300ER can be delivered to IndiGo. It is being prepared at Istanbul Sabiha Gocken International Airport.
Furthermore, the airline has received many aircraft fitted with CFM International LEAP engines. Therefore, reducing the airline’s dependency on single engine type.
Source : Livemint