Mumbai Budget carrier IndiGo continued to operate with a curtailed schedule for the third day Wednesday with the airline cancelling 42 flights following the grounding of eight of its A320neo planes along with three of GoAir due to Pratt & Whitney engine issues.
India’s largest airline by market share said the flights that have been cancelled on March 14 were bound for Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Jaipur, Srinagar, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Delhi, Dehradun, Amritsar, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, among others.
The Wadia Group-promoted low-cost carrier GoAir, which operates 230-odd flights daily, has also cancelled six flights due to the grounding of three of its A320neo planes.
In an announcement on its website, GoAir said it would cancel 18 flights, including 8 daily ones, from March 15 to 24. These include flights from Cochin, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar and Kolkata.
On Tuesday IndiGo and GoAir had together cancelled over 65 flights due to the grounding of their 11 aircraft by the countrys aviation watchdog DGCA on Monday, citing passengers safety concerns arising out of the mid-air shut down of the Pratt& Whitney- manufactured Neo engines of these airplanes.
The cancellation of services in a large number has put thousands of passengers at inconvenience as they had pre-booked these flights amid the concerns of exorbitant fares which are charged by the carriers for last-minute travel.
However, the two carriers had yesterday said they were taking measures to minimise inconvenience to the passengers whose flights have been cancelled by booking them on alternate flights as well giving them the option of cancelling or rescheduling their travel without any extra cost.
The aviation sector in the country may remain affected with IndiGo and GoAir likely to face more disruptions in the coming weeks. Though the US-based aircraft engine maker had proposed a fix for the Pratt & Whitney’s engine troubles but the two low-cost airlines may have to wait till June to get the replacements.
Launched in December 2010, Airbus A320neo (new engine option) is one of the fastest-selling aircraft in history. As compared to the previous narrow-body jets from Airbus, A320neo is more efficient – consuming 15 per cent less fuel, have lower CO2 emissions and significantly reduced noise footprint. These qualities attracted airlines across the world to introduce A320neos in their fleet, including 574 orders from GoAir and IndiGo.
IndiGo, which operates 1,000-odd flights per day, has had to replace Pratt & Whitney engines on its 32 A320 Neo aircraft at least 69 times in the period May 2016-November 2017. On an average, IndiGo flies four out of every 10 Indians. Of the total 11 A320neo aircrafts that have been grounded due to faulty engines, eight belong by IndiGo.
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