IndiGo has grounded an A320 neo aircraft after mid-air shut down of a Pratt & Whitney engine this week, a source said Thursday. The plane, which was flying from Port Blair to Kolkata, returned to Port Blair and made an emergency landing. The incident happened on December 23, the source added.
The no-frills airline has been grappling with P&W engine problems for quite some time. According to the source, the pilot of the aircraft reported a failure of one of the engines and sought a turn back. This was the fourth incident of an IndiGo plane facing technical glitch mid-air since December 10.
An IndiGo spokesperson said the aircraft returned to Port Blair after the pilot observed low oil pressure in one of the engines. “On December 23, an IndiGo A320 aircraft (VT-ITE) operating flight 6E-6616 from Port Blair to Kolkata returned to Port Blair. During the flight, the pilot observed low engine no 2 oil pressure. The pilot followed his procedures and landed back to Port Blair,” the spokesperson told PTI.
The aircraft is withdrawn from service for further checks at Port Blair, she added. IndiGo, however, did not respond to a query on whether it was mulling stopping the deliveries of the A320neos till the engine issues are fixed permanently. It also did not reveal how many of its A320 neo’s were out of operations due to the engine issues.
P&W did not respond to similar queries. Significantly, both the aircraft maker and the engine maker have been monetarily compensating the two domestic carriers — IndiGo and GoAir — for each grounded plane. IndiGo and GoAir operate P&W engine-powered A320 planes.
Both airlines have been facing problems with P&W engines powering their A320 family planes and there have been many instances of mid-air engine shutdowns. On December 10, IndiGo’s A320 neo plane made an emergency landing in Kolkata after smoke filled the plane’s cabin.
It was also the first incident globally where smoke was detected from a P&W engine. Later on December 21, one of the engines of an IndiGo aircraft, flying from Udaipur to Hyderabad, suffered mid-air shutdown. The next day, the airline’s Hyderabad-bound plane from Mangalore had to reject take off at the last minute after severe damage warning in the engine.