GoAir had cancelled 18 flights from 8 cities that included Bengaluru, Cochin, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Lucknow and Delhi except flights between Delhi and Mumbai on March 13. GoAir operates 230 flights per day. "With current load factors at over 90%, this reduction in capacity is likely to have a 5-10% impact on fares on key routes in the short to medium term", said Sharat Dhall, the chief operating officer at travel portal Yatra.com. Since February, three other A320 Neo planes of IndiGo have been on the ground following similar engine problems.
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. "But we can not play with any issue related to safety and safety is paramount", Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu reporters on the sidelines of an event here.
GoAir, whose three planes were grounded on Monday because it is fitted with a particular series of engines manufactured by aerospace company Pratt & Whitney, also cancelled some flights on Wednesday, but the number was not made available.
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The government said that no aircraft with a faulty engine will be allowed to take off. Of the 11 newly grounded aircrafts, as many as five may be able to recommence flying by swapping engines between affected planes, it said.
On Tuesday, IndiGo and GoAir had together cancelled over 65 flights.
Taking into consideration the safety of aircraft operations, the director of the DCGA said in its order on March 12 that the A320 Neos comprising of PW1100 engines beyond the ESN 450 have been grounded on an immediate basis. "While we understand that this may cause inconvenience to some of our passengers, given that we have multiple flights to the same destination, we are proactively re-accommodating all our affected passengers on other flights", it added.