IndiGo, Go First weighed down by grounded planes and engine shortages


is planning to extend the lease of in-service planes and induct new aircraft on wet lease because supply-chain disruption has forced the grounding of 30 Airbus A320 planes.

Go First, which is facing a similar issue, has increased the utilisation of its operational aircraft to cover up the grounding of its Airbus planes.

Go First is operating fewer flights than it did last winter and is trying to maintain the schedule it filed by increasing aircraft utilisation.

IndiGo, the country’s largest airline, operates a fleet of around 280 planes, which include Airbus A320 (CEO/NEO), A321 and ATR-72 aircraft.

Go First has 58 Airbus A320 (CEO/NEO) planes in its fleet and is operating 30-32 of them.

and Go First’s Airbus fleet is powered by Pratt & Whitney and CFM engines.

A source in Go First said the airline was expecting up to 16 engines from Pratt & Whitney this month.

The airline is also evaluating dry leasing a few A320 planes to overcome capacity shortage.

“Globally, the aviation industry continues to face significant supply chain disruptions. While it is our immediate priority to deploy adequate capacity to serve our customers, we are actively engaged with our OEM (original equipment manufacturer) partners to work on mitigation measures that should ensure the continuity of our network and operations. As we work on various cost-efficient countermeasures with our OEM partners, the endeavour is to minimise the economic impact of around 30 aircraft on ground resulting from this global disruption,” said in a statement.

According to industry executives, a short supply of engines, components and backlog at engine overhaul units is causing the challenges.

IndiGo said some of the measures being evaluated included slowing redeliveries through lease extensions, exploring the re-induction of aircraft into the fleet, and evaluating the wet lease options within the regulatory guidelines.

IndiGo has increased its capacity on a year-on-year basis, resulting in passenger and revenue growth in the second quarter of FY23.

The airline’s loss, however, widened 10 per cent to Rs 1,583 crore due to a weak rupee and increase in fuel cost.

While the grounding of the aircraft has created a challenge, the airline continues to target growth.

“We are bullish on market opportunities and will continue to add flights in existing and new markets,” IndiGo said.

On November 1, aviation consultancy firm CAPA said more than 75 planes of Indian carriers were grounded due to maintenance and engine-related issues.

These planes, which account for 10-12 per cent of the Indian fleet, are grounded due to such reasons.

“These will have a significant impact on financials in the second half,” CAPA had said in its India Mid-Year Outlook 2023.


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