IndiGo grounds 30 aircraft due to shortage of spare parts
Shortage of engines and spare parts has forced IndiGo to ground more than 30 aircraft, or around 11% of its fleet, the company said.
“As we work on various cost-efficient measures with OEM (original equipment manufacturers) partners, the endeavour is to minimise the economic impact of 30 aircraft on ground, resulting from this global disruption,” IndiGo said.
The airline is engaging with aircraft and engine manufacturers to mitigate the impact of significant supply chain disruptions that the global aviation sector is facing to ensure continuity of network and operations, it said.
IndiGo, which has a 57.7% market share and 279 aircraft in its fleet, faces significant disruption even if one aircraft is grounded, considering that it operates more than 1,600 daily flights connecting 74 domestic and 26 international destinations.
“One of the key after-effects of the pandemic in the aviation industry is supply chain disruptions in aircraft manufacturing and subsequent shortage of spare engines. This has affected our operations because of grounding of aircraft and has impacted our ability to fully deploy capacity productively,” Pieter Elbers, chief executive, IndiGo, said during the post-earnings conference call. To meet short- to medium-term capacity needs, IndiGo, which primary operates narrow-body planes, carrying 180-200 passengers, has decided to experiment with wide-body aircraft. It will induct three B777 planes on a wet lease to service the India-Turkey route.
The airline is also exploring ways to slow down redeliveries via lease extensions and reinduction of aircraft in the fleet, besides evaluating wet-lease options under regulatory guidelines.
“We are bullish on the market opportunities and will continue to add flights in existing and new markets,” it added.
Any impact on capacity in a high-demand peak quarter of Q3 will be an additional challenge for the industry, he said.
Supply chain issues could also reflect in liquidity problems for some carriers as the income from sale and leaseback financing may be less than planned, CAPA India said. Delay in fuel-efficient new aircraft deliveries will also lead to higher maintenance costs on older aircraft in the fleet, it contended.
The delay in delivery of new fuel-efficient aircraft, which claim 16% more fuel efficiency, will lead to more expenses for IndiGo on overhauling and maintaining older aircraft. Fuel expenses for Indigo rose to INR 6,257.9 crore in the September quarter from INR 1,989.4 crore in the year-ago. It also suffered forex loss of INR 1,201.5 crore.