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Airbus A320 Neo planes ordered by IndiGo to have their engine issues resolved after June

Airbus had informed its customers last December that there would be a delay in deliveries in the Neo or New Engine Option.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Mar 18, 2016, 03.59 AM IST
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HYDERABAD: Airlines, including IndiGo, that have ordered the Airbus A320 Neo planes with Pratt & Whitney engines will have their engine issues resolved only after June, a senior executive at the United Technologies-owned engine maker said on Thursday.

IndiGo, India's biggest airline by market share, has ordered 430 of the Neos, the upgraded version of the most popular passenger aircraft in the world, but opted for Pratt & Whitney engines only for the first 180.

While IndiGo has started getting deliveries of the aircraft, its rival Go Air which has ordered 72 of the planes is likely get the first delivery between April and June. “There are software and hardware modifications going into the engines.

Starting June, engines produced will have those modifications and they will be delivered some time after that. The software in particular is being incorporated in the engines starting April. Then there’s a league time before we deliver those engines to Airbus. “So, Airbus will see those engines starting in the June timeframe. It just takes us some time to build those engines and deliver them for acceptance to Airbus.

So the incorporation starts in April, and then those engines get to Airbus in June and then delivered to customers after that," Mary Ellen S. Jones, vice president sales for Asia Pacific and China, told ET.

Airbus had informed its customers last December that there would be a delay in deliveries in the Neo or New Engine Option. The main glitch was in the geared turbofan engine which takes some time to cool off before it restarts.

Sources said customers including Qatar Airways — which was supposed to get the first delivery but then passed on the slot due to the technicality — pushed Pratt & Whitney to cut the engine's starting time to 90 seconds from 180.

Kiran Rao, Airbus' global vice president for marketing and strategy, told ET on Friday there are one or two software upgrades being done on the aircraft. Earlier on Thursday, Airbus' Asia marketing head Joost van der Heijden said the issues will be sorted out by June. Airbus said it estimates a demand for 1,600 new passenger and freighter planes at a combined list price of $224 billion for India till 2034.

The forecast is up by 300 planes compared to what it estimated two years ago. The plane maker also said the demand for wide-bodied planes will grow seven fold in that time.

The estimate was up by 400 planes over what was presented two years earlier. India has typically been a narrow-bodied plane market catering to local air travel demand.

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