The downfall of Pratt & Whitney and the rise of GE: Indigo

1 min read

Overview

Indigo Airlines, the low-cost carrier (LCC) of India having headquarters in Gurgaon, New Delhi are now planning to replace their fleet of Airbus A320-neo flights with engines provided by GE after experiencing technical issues with the engines of Pratt & Whitney.

At present, Indigo has ambitious plans for expanding their operations in the regional aviation market as well as low-cost long-haul international flights. Additionally, the company has placed an order for 430 neo aircraft in order to achieve their target. The new aircraft shall help in covering longer flight distances as well as help in the economy by saving on fuel costs by a margin of 15%.
Problem for Indigo

At present, Indigo suffers from the loss of seven narrow-body neo-aircraft which have not been able to remain operational owing to the technical issues faced by Pratt & Whitney’s PW1100 geared turbofan engines. The company also has a contractual agreement with Pratt & Whitney for providing the airlines with full replacement in situations related to engine problems. Negative/slow deliveries from Pratt & Whitney shall further hamper the efforts of the Indigo to renew the operations of their grounded flights. The airlines canceled several flights owing to the engine failures. Furthermore, the problems caused by the engine failures have resulted in a severe impact in the delivery of new aircraft by aircraft manufacturer Airbus to their customers.

Indigo: The Solution

Aircraft manufacturer company Airbus has provided two engine options with their Airbus A320-neo aircraft which include GE engines (GE (CGM) LEAP 1-A) or the Pratt & Whitney engines (Pratt & Whitney Pure Power 1100G). Many airlines are now modifying their purchase order owing to the problems faced by the engines of Pratt & Whitney. Many of the early airlines adopting the Pratt & Whitney engines such as Indigo, Go Air and Lufthansa have let the engines spool up and run for several minutes before conducting airline operations.

Rotor Bowing

The PW1100G engines are witnessing a phenomenon known as rotor bowing. This phenomenon occurs when the temperature differences between the engines lead to causing misalignment to certain parts of the engine. The phenomenon of rotor bowing leads to degradation in the efficiency of the engines. As a result of this phenomenon, Indigo Airlines have issued altitude restrictions of 30,000 for their Airbus A320-neo aircraft. Increasing altitude leads to the shutting down of the engine’s bleed air system (which helps in engine starting to cabin pressurization) which in turn affects the anti-icing system installed on the aircraft.
Making use of GE engines will help the airline carrier to achieve fuel efficiency, reliability as well as outstanding services.

Dipra Majumdar
Dipra Majumdar Dipra K. M. is a market research associate at Mordor Intelligence, LLP in the field aerospace and defense having graduated from the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies with the aviation degree and also has an IATA certification. He has been involved with market research and previously had been working on preparing the market report on airport financial valuation and due diligence.
Dipra Majumdar Dipra K. M. is a market research associate at Mordor Intelligence, LLP in the field aerospace and defense having graduated from the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies with the aviation degree and also has an IATA certification. He has been involved with market research and previously had been working on preparing the market report on airport financial valuation and due diligence.  

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