IndiGo on Tuesday said it expects at least 35 planes to be grounded due to powder metal problem with the Pratt & Whitney engines in the March quarter next year.
The country’s largest airline already has nearly 40 planes on the ground due to other problems with the Pratt & Whitney (P&W) engines.
The carrier, which had a fleet of 334 aircraft at the end of September, will face capacity issues due to the significant number of aircraft on the ground in the March quarter, although 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 expect Aircraft on Ground (AOG) in the mid-thirties range in the fourth quarter (Jan-March 2024) due to for 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 problem that has affected its new generation GTF aircraft engines.
“Globally, we understand that a large number of incremental engines ranging between 600-700 will be 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,” said IndiGo.
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 minimize the impact of these AOGs on its capacity in the fourth quarter of the current fiscal and beyond.
“We also reaffirm our previous capacity guidance for the full FY23-24 ‘in the north of mid-teens’ significantly aided by proactive mitigation measures taken earlier by IndiGo… IndiGo also remains confident of meeting its long-term capacity guidance,” said the statement.
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 associated with aircraft.
“We have taken a number of measures… to meet our north-mid-teens capacity guidance (for this fiscal),” IndiGo CEO Pieter Elbers said on November 3.
Among the mitigation measures are taking aircraft on wet lease, retaining ceo aircraft and also leasing additional ceo aircraft from the secondary market.
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