Featured image: Nuno Seletti/Airways

Pratt & Whitney to Compensate IndiGo for Engine Woes

DALLAS – InterGlobe Aviation, parent company and operator of IndiGo (6E), announced yesterday that it will receive compensation from Pratt & Whitney (P&W), through International Aero Engines, for powder metal issues affecting its aircraft engines.

Apart from the powder metal issues, P&W engines have had several issues since their introduction, including extended groundings, inflight failures, and supply disruptions.

While these latter issues have mostly been solved, there have been some lingering problems, such as low engine performance, high fuel consumption, and high maintenance costs. As a result, 6E has grounded over 70 aircraft to date.

The InterGlobe announcement does not disclose the compensation amount, but it comes on the heels of a significant drop in the company's stock, closing down 0.79% at ₹4,267.10 (US$51.07) on June 14.

According to mint.com, InterGlobe Aviation "enjoys a market capitalization of ₹1,64,701.39 crore as per BSE. The company had hit a 52-week high of ₹4,609.80 on June 10, 2024, currently down by over 7 per cent."

IndiGo F-WWIA Airbus A320Neo. Phot: Alberto Cucini/Airways

P&W Engine Issues Timeline

In February 2023, more than 50 6E and Go First (G8) aircraft were grounded due to the P&W engine woes and supply chain issues. According to government officials cited by The Economic Times, the situation prompted the airlines to investigate wet leasing and other options.

Five months later, RTX Corp., the parent company of P&W, revealed that 1,200 of its PW1100G engines that power the Airbus A320neo family would require inspections for microscopic cracks “within the next nine to twelve months.” Previously, the checks had been planned during scheduled engine maintenance.

The largest airline in India, 6E considered a number of possibilities, including slowing down redeliveries through lease extensions, investigating the possibility of reintroducing aircraft to the fleet, and assessing the wet lease options within the confines of applicable regulations.

Finally, in November 2023, RTX announced that it would face a significant financial impact due to "a flaw in the engine manufacturing process." The problem necessitated accelerated inspections, resulting in a US$3 billion hit to the company’s pretax results for Q4 2023. As a consequence, RTX’s shares experienced a decline of over 6% during morning trading.

Pratt & Whitney’s flaw in its commercial jet engine will temporarily ground hundreds of Airbus SE A320neo aircraft over the next two years, causing operational disruptions for airlines worldwide.

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