Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Jet Airways Near Deal to Buy 50 Airbus A220 Jets: Sources

India’s Jet Airways is near a deal to buy 50 A220 jets from Airbus, two people familiar with the matter said. The airline’s board was expected to meet on Monday to finalise the deal.

“We are in an advanced stage of discussions with lessors and OEMs (manufacturers) for aircraft, and we will announce our aircraft choice and fleet plans as we make our decisions," a spokesperson for Jet Airways said.

“As we have said before, we are studying all possibilities to find the one that works best for us."

Airbus declined to comment.

Recently, with airlines reporting multiple technical malfunction incidents, aviation regulator DGCA on Monday said it conducted spot checks and found that there is an insufficient number of engineering personnel certifying planes of different carriers before their departure. Before each departure, an aircraft is checked and certified by an aircraft maintenance engineer (AME). The DGCA has now issued guidelines for airlines on the deployment of AME personnel and directed them to comply by July 28.

The spot checks also found that the AME teams of airlines are improperly identifying the “cause of a reported defect", the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)’s order noted. They also found that there has been an “increasing trend of MEL (minimum equipment list) releases" of aircraft, it said.

“MEL releases" means an aircraft is allowed to fly with certain inoperative equipment or instruments for a specific period of time, until the repairs are done. “It is also seen that airlines are resorting to frequent one-off authorisation to Category A certifying staff at transit stations which is not in line with existing regulatory provisions," the DGCA said.

The engineering head of one of the Indian airlines explained that a Category A engineer is called a ‘limited scope engineer’, and he or she is allowed to certify and release planes for departures only when the aircraft does not have any complex defect. The Category B1 engineer is one step above the Category A engineer and he or she is capable of handling mechanical defects.

Similarly, Category B2 engineering is capable of handling defects in the electronic equipment of planes. The DGCA said: “It has been decided that all aircraft at base and transit stations shall be released by certifying staff holding AME Category B1/B2 license with appropriate authorisation by their organisation." The regulator told airlines to position Category B1 and Category B2 engineers at all base and transit stations and make sure that required tools and equipment are available.

19/07/22 News18

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