Indigo Updates GTF Impact

Credit: Credit: Airbus - Master Films - Hervé Goussé

Indian low-cost carrier Indigo has said it hopes Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan (GTF) spare engine availability will improve “in a few quarters from now”.

The airline added that it currently has around 75 GTF-powered Airbus A320neo-family aircraft on the ground, “which is a slight improvement from our earlier estimates”, according to Indigo’s chief financial officer, Gaurav Negi.

Speaking on an earnings call, Negi added that Pratt expects the accelerated inspections of each GTF engine to take 240 to 300 days, although he would not be drawn on when the airline’s grounded aircraft would return to service, stating that there are too many uncertainties involved

But he added: “We've also phased some of our mitigation measures so that as and when Pratt & Whitney is able to get their supply chain in order, the faster they're able to fix this issue and start supplying us the spare engines, the quicker we'll probably be able to reduce the AOG.”

The grounded aircraft come from a fleet of around 130-GTF-powered aircraft at Indigo, with remaining 200 or so of its A320neos types powered by CFM Leap engines.

All the incoming A320neo-family aircraft from Indigo’s huge orderbook of almost 1,000 narrowbodies 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 Neos, at the 2019 Paris air show the airline switched to the CFM Leap for an order for an additional 280 A320neos.

Negi told investors that until now CFM has met its commitments for engine supply.

“There are instances where we have spare engines that are required and OEMs were able to fulfill that,” he said. “Because of that, we haven't faced any significant kind of an issue with the CFMs.”

Alex Derber

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