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P&W engine woes: DGCA grounds 11 Airbus planes of IndiGo, GoAir

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

watchdog DGCA today ordered and to immediately ground 11 neo planes powered with a certain series of engines after three incidents of mid-air engine failures in less than a month.

Concerns over safety of such planes increased with another engine failure forcing emergency landing of flight at today, and the regulator has cracked the saying that there is no concrete proposal in place at this stage to address the issue.

A total of 14 neo fitted with specific series of engines -- 11 are operated by and 3 by -- have now been grounded. Three planes are already on the ground following the problem.

Citing safety of operations, the DGCA said, neos fitted with PW1100 engines beyond ESN 450 have been grounded with immediate effect.

"Both and have been told not to refit these engines, which are spare with them in their inventory," the of Civil (DGCA) said in a release.

It said it will be in touch with stakeholders and review the situation in due course and when the issue is addressed by European regulator EASA and P&W.

A said 8 of would be grounded.

"We are in receipt of the communication from the DGCA and we shall promptly comply with the directions of the DGCA.

"Upon implementation of the directive, shall have a total of nine A320neo on ground," an said.

However, there is a mismatch between the number of grounded planes given by the DGCA and while clarity is awaited from the latter.

"has received the directive from the DGCA for immediate grounding of all late serial number PW GTF engines. We have complied immediately," a said.

In a statement, P&W said, it is working closely with customers to minimise disruption.

"The corrective action has been approved and we have already begun to deliver production engines with the upgraded configuration. We are working to mitigate the on Ground (AOG) situation by the end of the second quarter," it added.

Sources said the grounding of neo will have an impact on the flight operations of and

It is rare for the Indian regulator to ground and the latest one is at least only the third such instance in decades.

Back in 1990, planes operated by then were grounded following a deadly crash that had killed 89 people. Later in 2013, Air India's 737 were grounded in the wake of lithium battery issues. Both bans were subsequently revoked.

According to the regulator, P&W in its latest communication has also not given any firm commitment as to when the issue on the engine post serial number 450 would be resolved.

P&W has also informed that "all the affected engines will be replaced by early June 2018", the DGCA said, adding that there is no concrete proposal in place at this stage to address the issue.

In less than three weeks, there have been as many incidents of in-flight shut down of neos fitted with one P&W 1100 engine.

Besides today's incident, there were two -- one with plane after take-off from Leh on February 24 and another was with following take-off from on March 5.

Earlier in the day, Civil Secretary R N Choubey had said that an appropriate decision would be taken today.

Choubey said the regulator has put in place enhanced safety checks and was satisfied with the measures with respect to the issue of -- an issue that had plagued neos powered by P&W engines.

Following in-flight shut down in neo fleet worldwide fitted with PW1100 engines (from serial number 450 and beyond), EASA, on February 9, had issued an emergency airworthiness directive.

Subsequently, three neos of fitted with both the affected engines having engine serial number 450 and beyond were grounded.

However, 11 other neo -- 8 of and 3 of -- were allowed to operate as they were fitted with only one such affected engine, the release said.

On February 13, DGCA had said that it was monitoring engine glitches to ensure that safety is not compromised at any time.

Last week, for Civil remained evasive on whether there are any plans to ground these planes and had said that the ministry has been working very closely with safety regulators around the world to decide the best course of action for the P&W neo engine.

There are around 45 neos, powered by P&W engines, in the country. Out of them, 32 are with and 13 are with

The DGCA's significant decision also comes on a day when took over the additional charge of Civil Ministry following the resignation of NDA ally TDP's from the post last week.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 12 2018. 19:15 IST