The country’s aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday issued a statement that 14 of 45 Airbus 320 Neo aircraft are grounded at present, while the rest are fully and completely operational as there are no safety issues with them.
The statement comes after low-cost airline IndiGo cancelled as many as 47 flights on Tuesday after the DGCA had grounded eight of its A320 Neo planes with faulty Pratt & Whitney engines, while grounding three such aircraft of GoAir.
The IndiGo airline announced the cancellation on its website, saying the flights cancelled were from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Patna, Srinagar, Bhubaneshwar, Amritsar, and Guwahati, among others.
The DGCA cracked open the whip after an IndiGo aircraft bound for Lucknow, returned to Ahmedabad within 40 minutes of take-off due to mid-air engine failure on Monday. To ensure the safety of the passengers, the DGCA issued an order on March 12, saying that the A320 Neos fitted with PW1100 engines beyond ESN 450 should be grounded with immediate effect.
Three other IndiGo flights have been grounded because of the same reason since February.
Hundreds of passengers were stranded across the country on Monday after dozens of flights were cancelled by both IndiGo and GoAir following the grounding of 11 planes. The airlines, however, did not give any details of the cancellations or the number of passengers stranded but said that they were making possible arrangements to minimise the impact.
IndiGo operates about 1,000 flights daily with 40 per cent of domestic flyers, while GoAir has a market share of 10 per cent.