The US-based aircraft engine maker Pratt & Whitney on Thursday announced that Air India's arm Air India Engineering Services Ltd (AIESL) will maintain the company's geared turbofan (GTF) engines in the country.
At present, Pratt & Whitney (P&W) has more than 700 aircraft in service in India, including more than 150 GTF-powered A320neo family aircraft.
A320 neo planes have been grappling with snags for nearly four years. A substantial number of such neos are operated in India by IndiGo and GoAir.
P&W has already a tie-up with Air India Engineering Services Ltd (AIESL) for maintenance of its 4056 engine model. These engines power Boeing 747-series aircraft.
AIESL will service PW1100G-JM engines at its facility in Mumbai, P&W, which is a part of the United Technology Corporation (UTC), said in a release.
PTI had reported it last week that P&W had signed an agreement with AIESL for its engine maintenance services in India.
With AIESL performing maintenance on our high-tech GTF engines, we are excited to strengthen our global MRO capacity and capabilities for customers on the ground in India, said Joe Sylvestro, vice president of Aftermarket Operations at Pratt & Whitney.
As the demand for air travel grows in India, we look forward to furthering the growth of Indian aviation," Sylvestro added.
The partnership with AIESL's will be put in place in a phased manner, starting with engine upgrade and module exchange capabilities as immediate support of the GTF fleet in India, the company said, adding the facility has already received its first GTF engine.
It's an exciting time for us as we prepare for the GTF engine, said HR Jagannath, CEO of AIESL.
AIESL has been engaged in providing engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services to Air India and other operators for over 50 years now. Our association with Pratt & Whitney goes back a long time as well," he said.
The GTF engine provides us with the opportunity to showcase our capabilities and establish AIESL as one of the premier engine MROs in Asia, he added.
Pratt & Whitney is committed to investing in the success of the aviation industry in India, and to build capabilities for high value services that will help airlines get the best from their next-generation products, said Ashmita Sethi, managing director of India for Pratt & Whitney.
These services based on deep knowledge and expertise of the manufacturer, once performed in India, will save customers the downtime, disruption and costs, by keeping GTF engines flying longer, and getting them back on the wing, sooner," Sethi added.