Aviation News

IndiGo plans to lease 22 Airbus A320 aircraft from secondary market, ET Infra


India’s largest airline IndiGo is looking to induct up to 22 aircraft from the secondary lease markas it faces grounding of several Airbus A320 Neo aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney engines.

Over 1,000 P&W engines will need to be inspected after the manufacturer found that contamination of powder metal defects could lead to the cracking of some engine components.

US-based aerospace major RTX which manufactures the P&W engines on Monday said that it will have to recall 600-700 engines from 2023 to 2026, leading to the grounding of an average 350 aircraft a year. IndiGo with 135 planes has the largest potentially affected fleet. Out of that 45 planes are already grounded.

Out of the 22 Airbus A320 planes, 10 will be on short term wet lease while the rest will be on dry lease. Wet lease, an arrangement under which the lessor provides an aircraft along with crew, maintenance to the lessee airline, is costlier than dry lease and may lead to a spike in operational cost.

IndiGo will lease the 10 planes for a period of six months and the first aircraft will arrive as early as November, so that it can be deployed for the winter traffic season.

Sources said that IndiGo has been looking for A320 aircraft which are fitted with V2500 engines which are used in the old generation A320 planes and have less fuel efficiency.

“The intention is to look for non-P&W aircraft, but getting A320 Neo (new generation) planes may be difficult as the supply system is already choked. We may have to settle for the A320 Ceo to maintain capacity in the immediate term,” a person aware of the development said.

IndiGo management had told analysts in August that the airline intends to add 25% capacity in Q2 of FY24- an increase of 6% as compared to Q1.

“We are in receipt of the recent information from P&W regarding the outcome of the latest engine inspection. We continue to work closely with P&W to assess the potential impact to our fleet and implement mitigation measures as required, ,” an IndiGo spokesperson said, adding that the company is evaluating all possible measures to cater to customers’ needs.

The PW-1100G geared turbofan (GTF) engines of Pratt which lead to fuel efficiency of over 15% has faced technical problems since they came into service in 2016 facing numerous in-flight shutdowns.

In 2019, the repeated snags forced aviation regulator DGCA to mandate that airlines will have to replace the faulty engines before inducting a new aircraft.

  • Published On Sep 12, 2023 at 03:57 PM IST

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