New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today refused to ground the entire fleet of IndiGo’s A320neo aircraft, which allegedly have defective engines.
Advocate Yeshwanth Shenoy’s said in his plea that IndiGo’s A320neo fleet should be grounded until the manufacturers give in writing that the existing defects have been rectified and the DGCA is satisfied.
“Your (petitioner) first prayer seeking direction to Directorate General of Civil Aviation to ground the entire fleet of Airbus A320neo cannot be granted,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said.
It, however, said Shenoy’s plea seeking various other directions to the authorities, including an order to ensure that all accidents are published on DGCA’s website within 24 hours of its occurrence, shall be heard on 20 March.
Aviation watchdog DGCA had on 12 March ordered IndiGo and GoAir to immediately ground 11 A320neo planes powered with a certain series of Pratt & Whitney engines after three incidents of mid-air engine failures in less than a month.
Concerns over the safety of such planes increased with another engine failure, forcing an emergency landing of an IndiGo flight at Ahmedabad airport on 12 March, and the regulator cracked the whip saying that there is no concrete proposal in place at this stage to address the issue.
A total of 14 A320 neo aircraft fitted with a specific series of engines 11 are operated by IndiGo and three by GoAir have now been grounded. Three IndiGo planes are already on the ground following the problem.
IndiGo on Wednesday cancelled as many as 42 domestic flights after aviation regulator DGCA grounded 11 A320neo aircraft fitted with a certain series of Pratt & Whitney engines. 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 on today 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.