New Delhi (Sputnik): India’s no-frills carrier GoAir has cancelled more than 40 flights in the past four days, claiming inclement weather and the uncertain delivery of aircraft are creating problems with normalising operations. Airbus has been facing huge pressure to replace over one hundred engines in its A320 Neo aircraft in India.
GoAir has blamed European Airbus’ delay in delivery aircraft for operational challenges that it has been facing for past few weeks.
The airline added that bad weather in North India was another reason for the cancellation of flights, as its crew approached its flight duty time limits (FDTL) in the last two-three days. Cockpit and cabin crew duty and rest norms are governed by the aviation safety regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
The airline, however, expects operations “to be on track by the end of this week” as it is working to normalise them.
Earlier this week, DGCA had criticised GoAir for making its crew work for longer than the mandated hours.
Aviation sources said GoAir which operates around 200 flights on a daily basis, has a shortage of around 30 pilots. Despite being flooded with unemployed pilots in the wake up of shutting down the country’s largest airline, Jet Airways, in April this year, GoAir was unable to plan the induction additional pilots with uncertain Airbus delivery schedules.
India’s Aviation Watchdog has already ordered the country’s biggest airlines IndiGo and GoAir to replace the engines on their A320Neo fleet of 97 aircraft by January 31 “at all costs” or face grounding. The DGCA had also asked the airlines to halt the introduction of around 300 Airbus aircraft in order to adhere to the engine replacement deadline.