Indigo Remains Tight Lipped On GTF issues

Indigo operates 304 aircraft, including 241 Airbus A320neo-family aircraft.

Credit: Airbus - Master Films - Hervé Goussé

Management of India’s largest and most successful airline, Indigo, has remained tight-lipped about the impact and likely duration of Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan (GTF) problems on its fleet.

Asked several times on an earnings call last week about how Indigo was faring with the reliability and supply chain issues that have plagued other Indian GTF operators, senior executives would not say much more than that Indigo is “working closely with our OEM partner” to resolve the issue.

However, the Gurgaon-headquartered carrier did reveal a number of aircraft in the “high thirties” are grounded due to GTF issues, and that this number was “directionally stable” from the third to the fourth quarter. Essentially, Indigo’s problems on the GTF front are not getting worse, but they are also not getting much better.

As of Mar. 31, Indigo operated 304 aircraft, including 241 Airbus A320neo-family aircraft. Management also pointed out that all the incoming A320neo-family aircraft from its order book are powered by CFM Leap engines, which will reduce the proportion of its fleet exposed to GTF supply chain issues.

Having previously only ordered GTF-powered A320neos at the 2019 Paris Air Show, the airline switched to the CFM Leap for an order of an additional 280 A320neos. 

In its financial year to the end of March 2023, Indigo reported an ex-currency net profit INR26.5 billion ($320 million), versus a INR52.2 billion loss in the previous year.

Results were particularly strong in the third and fourth quarters, noted Indigo’s CEO, Pieter Elbers.

“With a combination of robust market demand and focused execution of our strategy, this was the second consecutive quarter wherein we produced strong operational and financial results, as we reported the highest ever fourth quarter net profit of 9,192 million rupees,” said Elbers.

Alex Derber

Alex Derber, a UK-based aviation journalist, is editor of the Engine Yearbook and a contributor to Aviation Week and Inside MRO.