IndiGo on Tuesday said it expects at least 35 planes to be grounded due to powder metal issue with the Pratt & Whitney engines during the March quarter next year.
The country’s largest airline already has nearly 40 aircraft on the ground due to other issues with the Pratt & Whitney (P&W) engines.
The carrier, which had a fleet of 334 planes at the end of September, will face capacity issues due to the significant number of grounded aircraft in the March quarter even as various measures are being taken to address the situation.
“We have recently received additional information on the powder metal issue from Pratt & Whitney and based on our preliminary assessment of this, we anticipate Aircraft on Ground (AOG) in the range of mid-thirties in the fourth quarter (Jan-Mar2024) due to accelerated engine removals. These groundings will be incremental to the current AOGs,” IndiGo said in a statement.
Earlier this year, P&W highlighted the impact of the powder metal issue that has affected its new generation GTF aircraft engine.
“Globally, we understand that a large number of incremental engines ranging between 600-700 are being removed for accelerated inspections and shop visits between 2023 and 2026 and two-thirds of these engine removals are planned for 2023 and early 2024,” IndiGo said.
Going forward, the airline said it will continue to work with P&W on more information and addressing the situation and implementing mitigation measures to minimise the impact of these AOGs on its capacity in the fourth quarter of the current fiscal and beyond.
“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… IndiGo also remains confident in meeting its long-term capacity guidance,” the statement said.
While announcing its September quarter results on November 3, IndiGo said it was in constant touch with the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to navigate the challenges related to aircraft.
“We have taken a whole range of measures… in living up to our capacity guidance of north of mid-teens (for this fiscal),” IndiGo CEO Pieter Elbers said on November 3.
Among the mitigation measures are taking planes on wet lease, retaining ceo aircraft and also leasing additional ceo planes from the secondary market.
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