Hundreds of domestic air travelers got stranded on Tuesday as budget carriers IndiGo and GoAir had to cancel as many as 70 flights after the aviation regulatory body grounded aircraft for faulty engines.
IndiGo, a leading carrier with about 40% of domestic services, canceled 50 flights, while GoAir, which has a market share of around 10%, canceled 20 flights.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) cracked the whip on Monday after an IndiGo flight bound for Lucknow returned to Ahmedabad within 40 minutes of its getting airborne due to a mid-air engine failure, the Press Trust of India reported.
The DGCA then grounded 11 planes (eight of IndiGo and three of GoAir) due to recurring engine malfunctions.
Citing safety of aircraft operations, the director of the DGCA said in the March 12 order that A320 Neo planes fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines beyond ESN 450 have been grounded with immediate effect
The flights canceled were from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Patna, Srinagar, Bhubaneswar, Amritsar, Srinagar and Guwahati, among others.
The move followed a crash in Nepal involving a Bangladeshi aircraft at Kathmandu airport on Monday, which killed at least 50 people.