DELHI: IndiGo’s new Airbus 320 neo planes, already afflicted by engine trouble, are said to be taking longer to fire up and get ready for take-off, adding to congestion at Delhi airport, the carrier’s main hub.
The A320 neos take more time than others to taxi to the runway after being pushed back from the parking bay, according to the minutes of the airside safety committee meeting on July 26 that EThas reviewed. The meeting was attended by representatives of all airlines, including Indi-Go. Together IndiGo and GoAir operate more than 25 A320 neos with the Pratt & Whitney engines that are facing operational problems.
IndiGo got 22 neo deliveries until June of a total order of 430 planes. GoAir has six of the planes, having ordered 144 of them. IndiGo denied that the A320 neos are causing delays.
“Neo engine start time is not significantly different from other jet engines. Airbus 320 neo are not causing any delay or congestions at Delhi airport,” the airline spokesperson said in an email response.
According to the minutes, however, this does appear to be the case. “This problem is very often with IndiGo Airlines aircraft. Representative of IndiGo Airlines informed that they have noted the concern and their team has already initiated the efforts to resolve such issues,” read the minutes.
“Manager, Airport Operations Control Centre (AOCC), DIAL, informed that the reason for delay was due to IndiGo Airlines new neo aircraft which take extra time for taxi out…” DIAL is Delhi International Airport.IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh had referred to the issue on an August 1, 2016, conference call.
“A320 neo operations continue to be a challenge from an operational point of view and there have been some issues around startup time and other erroneous software messages, as a result of which we are struggling with maintaining our schedule integrity and our technical dispatch reliabilityat the level as the CEO (current engine option),” Ghosh had said.