Delay In Aircraft Deliveries By Airbus Added To Operational Challenge, Says GoAir
GoAir, which has come under fire from passengers for cancelling dozens of flights abruptly earlier this week, on Thursday attributed the disruption in network to delay in aircraft deliveries and non-availability of engines.
In a clarification issued on Thursday, the budget carrier also sought to defend its choice of Pratt & Whitney engines for its A320 Neo fleet.
GoAir cancelled as many as 40 flights between November 23 and 24, during which it also reported air turn back of two if its aircraft due to engine glitches, which were later taken out of operations for further inspection.
"GoAir has placed an order for 144 Airbus A320neo aircraft and has experienced delivery delays during the month of November and December, adding to its operational challenges," the airline said.
The airline further said "during the same time, non-availability of Pratt & Whitney spare engines have also hampered the smooth functioning of the airline".
Data collated from an aircraft deliveries tracking website suggest that GoAir has inducted less planes in the fleet this year as compared to 2018.
As against 17 aircraft inducted between May-December last year, the carrier took deliveries of only 11 planes between April-December this year.
The airline said that due to inclement weather in North India, it experienced extensive flight delays and diversions leading to cancellations of flights as its crew approached its flight duty time limits in the last two-three days.
The cockpit and cabin crew duty and rest norms are governed by the aviation safety regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
The anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests wherein GoAir crew members were unable to report for duty further exacerbated the issue, the airline added.
On the two back-to-back mid-air incidents involving its P&W engine-powered aircraft earlier this week and the subsequent decision of the Directorate General of Civil aviation to inspect all such engines, which have been used for more than 3000 hours by GoAir's A320neo planes, the airline said it would "abide by" and "comply" with the directives.
Claiming that P&W engines have logged "more than 1 billion hours of flight", GoAir said it completed the modifications of engines before January 31.
The airline said it has more than adequate pool of cockpit crew resources to fly 325 daily flights, adding due to several external factors, it is currently experiencing a temporary disruption in its schedule.
"The airline is currently working to normalise its operations with the support of its pilots and cabin crew and expects to be on track by the end of this week," it said.