Friday, January 24, 2020

GoAir cancels 'certain flights', blames Airbus & Pratt

New Delhi: GoAir has from Thursday cancelled a number of flights from its schedule, blaming Airbus and Pratt & Whitney’s (PW) ‘inability’ to deliver aircraft and engines — including for replacement in grounded Neos — on time.

Incidentally, DGCA had earlier this month issued warning letters to over 150 pilots of GoAir and also to the low cost carrier’s head of operations for not following duty time norms for crew that indicated it may be facing a shortage of pilots as well.

The airline has ordered 144 Neos with PW engines. It currently operates 325 daily flights with fleet of over 55 aircraft — 41 A320 Neos apart from some non-Neos (Ceos). At the moment seven to eight Neos are learnt to be grounded for reasons like awaiting engine replacement; the A320 Ceos are being phased out and a mix of troubles at Airbus and PW has meant delivery of the ordered Neos is delayed. The collective shortage of planes and pilots has led to GoAir trimming its schedule.

Despite repeated attempts GoAir did not say how many flights are being axed for now. Travel industry majors also did not give numbers as they are still gauging the potential impact of the announcement.

“In the last four weeks, we have gone through unplanned grounding of aircraft, which were supporting our current operation. And now, we have been informed by our business partners Airbus and PW of their inability to deliver previously promised aircraft and engines through March 9, 2020, that are required to support our current growth. As a result, we have been forced to temporarily suspend certain flights that are part of our network, schedule and open for sale,” GoAir said in a statement.

“We have undertaken these suspensions as far ahead of time as possible in order to minimise the inconvenience to customers…. Despite our best efforts, we realise that our flight suspensions may inconvenience our customers, which we regret and profusely apologise. We expect — with the support of Airbus and Pratt & Whitney — to reinstate these flights and operate at the earliest opportunity,” the airline added.
23/01/20 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India
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