India's domestic carriers IndiGo, GoAir cancel 50 flights

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The IndiGo flight that was grounded on Monday was an Airbus 320 Neo aircraft with a Pratt and Whitney engine. Amid passengers facing inconvenience due to the cancellations, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said the planes with faulty engines were grounded "only for passenger safety".

On February 9, EASA had issued an emergency airworthiness directive for A320 neo planes fitted with PW1100 engines having a particular serial number. In an announcement on its website during the day, IndiGo said it has cancelled 47 flights across its domestic network for today.

The directive followed instances of the engines shut-down during flights and rejected take-offs involving the A320 neo family aircraft. The flights cancelled were to Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Jaipur, Srinagar, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Delhi, Dehradun, Amritsar, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, among others. There are 43 such engines in the worldwide, out of which 19 are now in India, used by IndiGo and GoAir.

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After cancelling 65 flights yesterday, domestic carriers IndiGo and GoAir cancelled another 48 flights on Wednesday as nearly one-third of their A320 Neo aircraft fleet remained grounded for the third day following a safety directive by the DGCA.

The government said that no aircraft with a faulty engine will be allowed to take off. The carriers on Tuesday said that they were taking measures to lower inconvenience to the passengers. Of the 11 newly grounded aircrafts, as many as five may be able to recommence flying by swapping engines between affected planes, it said. After an IndiGo flight bound for Lucknow returned to Ahmedabad within 40 minutes as it got airborne due to a mid-air engine failure, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation cracked the whip.

"This is only for passenger safety and airlines have also responded positively. But we can not play with any issue related to safety and safety is paramount", Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu reporters on the sidelines of an event here.

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