IndiGo To Ground 35 More Aircraft By March 2024, What Does It Mean For Flyers?

by Shreya Rathod
IndiGo To Ground 35 More Aircraft By March 2024, What Does It Mean For Flyers?

IndiGo, the nation’s biggest airline by market share and fleet size, will have to ground its aircraft due to the powder metal problem with its Pratt & Whitney-powered fleet. After this decision, what should the IndiGo passengers expect?

IndiGo To Ground More 35 Aircraft

IndiGo aircraft
Credits: Wikimedia

Due to the powder metal problem, which is additional to the current groundings, the airline anticipates an Aircraft on Ground (AOG) count in the mid-thirties. This might increase the number of grounded aircraft in IndiGo’s fleet to over 80 for the upcoming January through March quarter (Q4-FY24). This implies that, in terms of fleet size, the airline will have as many grounded aircraft as Air India Express and Akasa Air combined. 

Like many other airlines worldwide, IndiGo has experienced problems with Pratt & Whitney GTF engine performance since the engines were introduced in March 2016. The regulator had to intervene since a delayed induction caused by in-flight shutdowns and warnings that resulted in diversions had become the norm.

Due to the new regulations, inspections had to be completed earlier than anticipated, which resulted in longer aircraft downtime and more work for the engineering staff. With current planes grounded for lack of engines, new problems have continued to crop up on a daily basis. Moreover, the engines are not easily available due to supply chain issues

But what does it mean for passengers? 

  • The grounding of aircraft will lead to a shortage of flights available to operate. 
  • Moreover, the airline won’t be able to cover as many routes as they were doing earlier. 
  • With the shortage of flights, airfares might also increase which will affect passengers.
  • IndiGo is among the top Indian airlines and this decision might affect its position. 

Also Read: Major Alert: 76 IndiGo Flights Cancelled Till October 8; Check If Yours Is Cancelled Too

The Balance Sheet Will Reflect The Cost

IndiGo aircraft
Credits: Wikimedia

It has been a problem for many years. And in the coming months, will it become apparent whether the powder metal problem has resulted in groundings? The introduction of the A320ceo detracts from the airline’s fleet renewal commitment in terms of both cost and efficiency. Due to the higher operating costs of the aircraft compared to the A320neo and the present issues with the supply chain, the world’s small supply of A320ceos is fetching a premium for lease rentals.

The balance statement will reflect the cost of grounding, new leases, engineering, and maintenance. The financial component of the equation will be eliminated if the airline is receiving a substantial salary. However, the operational and engineering components will still be present. As maintaining older aircraft may be more expensive and shop visits may rise as a result of lease renewals.

Pilot flying hours will be saved for the later part of the year when the airline hopes to resolve the situation and be able to expand and operate additional flights, as their own planes have been grounded during the first few months of the year and they have some wet lease capacity. IndiGo is devoting its efforts to mitigating delays, starting with engines and moving on to planes. 

Also Read: From October 29, IndiGo To Start Direct Flights From Hyderabad To Singapore

The next delay is the A321XLR, which was originally scheduled to go into service this year. But it will instead start operating in late 2025 or early 2026.

Cover Image Courtesy: Wikimedia

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