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Tuesday, 03 December, 2019, 10 : 00 AM [IST]

IndiGo stops pushing Airbus engines to limit after shutdowns

IndiGo has told its pilots to stop pushing engines on its new Airbus SE jets to the limit when the planes are climbing, after India’s aviation regulator said the practice may have contributed to turbines failing in the air.

All the budget airline’s A320neo aircraft now use a lower thrust setting following take off, according to a spokeswoman from IndiGo, which has suffered 13 engine shutdowns during ascents this year. The decision was taken “in order to make every possible effort to minimize exposure of engines,” she wrote in an email, adding that manufacturer Pratt & Whitney stated there’s no evidence of a connection between climbing procedure and engine incidents

Ascending at maximum power can help burn less fuel as it takes less time to reach cruising altitude. IndiGo made the switch only after India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation found in a probe - first reported by Bloomberg on Friday - that full-thrust climbs could wear down the engines and probably contributed to the shutdowns, people familiar with the matter said earlier.

IndiGo instructed pilots of the A320neo-family of jets last month to use no more than 93% thrust on the Pratt engines until they reach 25,000 feet (7,622 meters), the people said. They asked not to be identified because the change hadn’t been made public.

The airline spokeswoman said the change had “hardly any difference” in day to day operations, beyond taking two to three minutes longer for aircraft to reach optimum flight level due to lower thrust settings. “Difference in fuel consumption is marginal,” she said.

IndiGo instructed pilots of the A320neo-family of jets last month to use no more than 93% thrust on the Pratt engines until they reach 25,000 feet (7,622 meters), the people said. They asked not to be identified because the change hadn’t been made public.

The airline spokeswoman said the change had “hardly any difference” in day to day operations, beyond taking two to three minutes longer for aircraft to reach optimum flight level due to lower thrust settings. “Difference in fuel consumption is marginal,” she said.

(Source: ET)
 
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