LONDON – On December 18, 2019, an Indigo A320neo caught fire at Udaipur in India, shortly before takeoff.
The fire was first spotted by one of Udaipur’s air traffic controllers, who noticed smoke at the rear. It was quickly extinguished by airport fire crews. The aircraft was moved off the runway straight after the incident.
Flight 6E979, was scheduled to fly an Indian domestic flight, from Udaipur to Bangalore. The flight has subsequently been cancelled.
The Airbus A320neo involved in the incident is VT-ITS CN6772, a 4-year-old A320neo, which was originally meant for Qatar Airways as A7-AJB. Qatar Airways cancelled their A320neo family order and were the original launch customer for the A320neo family.
When Qatar cancelled the order, Lufthansa replaced them as the launch customer. This A320neo was eventually delivered to Indigo in February 2017.
This is yet another incident involving an Airbus A320neo with the Pratt and Whitney GTF (Geared-turbofan engine). The engine has had various snags and problems since it entered commercial service 3 years ago.
This is also the second incident with an Indigo A320neo this week. On December 16, 2019, another A320neo was grounded at Bagdogra in India. The flight it was meant to operate 6E958 was cancelled.
Indigo is one of the largest Airbus operates in the world and is set to become the largest at some point next decade, surpassing American airlines in the process, who is the current largest worldwide. airbus operator.
In October 2019, Indigo placed a blockbuster order for 300 more Airbus A320neo family aircraft, including the recently launched A321XLR. Indigo also plan to switch to the CFM LEAP 1A engines, due to the continued problems with the Pratt and Whitney GTF engines.
The LEAP engines are the other engine option airlines have with the A320neo family.
In November 2019, Indigo was ordered to replace all Pratt and Whitney GTF engines on their A320neos by the January 31st, 2020 by India’s aviation authority, DGCA.
If Indigo fails to complete this they may face huge consequences, with the authority threatening to halt all their Airbus order until further notice.
Indigo is currently one of the fastest-growing airlines in the world. As of December 18, 2019, their fleet has an average age of 5.7 years.
The fleet consists of 23 ATR72-600s, 126 Airbus A320ceos, 92 Airbus A320neos, and eight Airbus A321neos.