IndiGo Expects Refurbishment of Faulty P&W Engines by August; CFM to Power Newer Aircraft

By Ankur Deo | August 1, 2020

IndiGo Airlines and the Pratt and Whitney (P&W) engines on their Airbus A320neo aircraft have a long history. The P&W engine-powered A320neos in IndiGo’s fleet have been facing a multitude of glitches since their induction in 2016. Considering the gravity of the situation, in 2019, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had directed the airline to replace these faulty engines with a modified version. The deadline for this activity was earlier planned as May 31, 2020.

As per a latest report, IndiGo Airlines will complete replacing the respective engines on its last batch of 14 A320neos, by August-end. 

IndiGo has the largest fleet of A320neo series aircraft ©Airbus

The aviation regulator of India – the DGCA – previously extended the deadline to refurbish engines on A320Neo fleet to August, after production lines, supply chains, and respective technical processes were hampered due to the ongoing pandemic. IndiGo Airlines has the largest number of Airbus A320neo aircraft in their fleet, and owned a total of 106 P&W powered aircraft. 

During the carrier’s reveal of Q1 financial results, IndiGo’s Chief Operating Officer, Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, told analysts:

‘We are coming to finish this whole exercise, and by August we will have everything done and the whole fleet will be refurbished. Right now we still have 14 aircraft left which needs to be refurbished and we can see from the pipeline of the incoming engines, the whole exercise will be finished by the end of August.’ 

IndiGo has a gargantuan fleet of 274 aircraft, including 108 A320neo aircraft, 18 A321neo aircraft and 120 A320ceo aircraft, alongside and 25 Aérospatiale ATR 72-600s.

IndiGo became the acceptor of 1000th A320neo aircraft produced by Airbus ©Airbus

The A320neo aircraft has a choice of two engines:

  1. The PurePower PW1100G-JM from Pratt and Whitney, 
  2. The LEAP-1A from CFM International.  

For several airlines globally, the P&W engines have led to incidents that involve low pressure turbine (LPT) and gear box failures, combustion chamber distress, engine vibration, among a multitude of other issues. In June 2020, IndiGo had placed an order of $20bn for CFM LEAP-1A engines, which shall power their 280 A320neo and A321neo aircraft. This order included supply of spare engines and overhaul of engines.

IndiGo has a total order book of 730 A320neo aircraft. Currently, P&W engines power IndiGo’s entire fleet of A320neo series aircraft. As per their deal, the carrier will receive a hundred more such engines from P&W. However, starting August of 2020, all of IndiGo’s new aircraft shall be powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines.  

Accordingly, the newer fleet of India’s largest airline will soon be powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines! What are your views on IndiGo switching their engine partner from P&W to CFM? Let us know in the comments!

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