Interglobe Aviation, the operator of India’s leading airline IndiGo, has received approval from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to wet-lease 11 A320 aircraft, according to sources cited by CNBC-TV18. This decision comes in the wake of IndiGo’s grounding of nearly 40 planes due to ongoing issues with Pratt & Whitney engines.
Pratt & Whitney, owned by Raytheon Technologies (RTX), revealed on Monday that it would need to remove a significant number of engines from Airbus A320neo jets for extensive quality inspections scheduled between 2023 and 2026. This action follows concerns about a rare powder metal defect that could lead to the cracking of certain engine components. RTX had previously called for accelerated inspections affecting 200 engines by mid-September.
IndiGo, which operates a substantial fleet of A320neo aircraft with Pratt & Whitney engines, has been grappling with these engine-related challenges for some time. Last month, the airline announced that it was evaluating the impact on its fleet due to the troubled engines. Additionally, it anticipated a decline in yield for the second quarter due to seasonal factors.
Despite these challenges, IndiGo reported a profit of 30.87 billion Indian rupees (approximately $372.02 million) for the quarter ending June 30. This was attributed to strong demand for air travel and a decrease in jet fuel prices. In comparison, the airline had reported a loss of 10.65 billion rupees during the same period the previous year.
It’s worth noting that wet-leasing involves one airline leasing aircraft, including crew and maintenance, from another airline to address operational needs or capacity shortages temporarily. This allows the lessee to access additional aircraft without the long-term commitments of aircraft ownership.
IndiGo, India’s largest airline by market share, is actively working to resolve its engine-related challenges and maintain its position in the highly competitive aviation industry. The decision to wet-lease 11 A320 aircraft reflects the company’s efforts to mitigate disruptions caused by grounded planes while ensuring the safety and reliability of its operations.
As IndiGo continues to address these engine concerns and explore solutions, it remains a significant player in India’s aviation sector, striving to provide efficient and convenient air travel services to passengers across the country and beyond.