New Delhi: American aeroengine maker Pratt & Whitney today said an Air India subsidiary will perform the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) for the company’s Geared Turbofan (GTF) engines and customers in India. Air India Engineering Services Limited (AIESL) will service PW1100G-JM engines at its facility in Mumbai.
“With AIESL performing maintenance on our high-tech GTF engines, we are excited to strengthen our global MRO capacity and capabilities for customers on the ground in India,” said Joe Sylvestro, vice president of Aftermarket Operations at Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp.
“As the demand for air travel grows in India, we look forward to furthering the growth of Indian aviation.”
AIESL’s introduction to GTF maintenance will be a phased approach, starting with engine upgrade and module exchange capabilities as immediate support of the GTF fleet in India. The facility has already received its first GTF engine.
“It’s an exciting time for us as we prepare for the GTF engine,” said H. R. Jagannath, Cheif Executive Officer of AIESL.
“AIESL has been engaged in providing engine MRO services to Air India and other operators for over 50 years now. Our association with Pratt & Whitney goes back a long time as well. The GTF engine provides us with the opportunity to showcase our capabilities and establish AIESL as one of the premier engine MROs in Asia.”
Pratt & Whitney powers more than 700 aircraft in service today in India, including more than 150 GTF-powered A320neo family aircraft. The GTF engine has saved Indian operators over 90 million gallons of fuel and more than 800,000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions since its entry into service. Hyderabad is home to Pratt & Whitney’s state of the art Customer Training Center, which provides maintenance training to India’s growing aviation workforce.
The American company is facing a huge challenge over in-flight shutdowns in its engines fitted on Airbus A320neo aircraft of Indian affordable airlines, IndiGo and GoAir. The two Indian airlines have replaced bulk of the glitch-prone P&W engines powering their Airbus A320neo planes and are on track to meet a May-end deadline for completing the upgrade mandated by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
At the end of February, IndiGo had 152 modified engines. It is expected to have 167 modified engines by March-end and 189 by April-end. GoAir, which has 43 A320neo planes in its fleet, is expected to have as many as 67 modified engines in its fleet by March-end.
“Pratt & Whitney is committed to investing in the success of the aviation industry in India, and to build capabilities for high value services that will help airlines get the best from their next-generation products,” said Ashmita Sethi, managing director of India for Pratt & Whitney.
“These services based on deep knowledge and expertise of the manufacturer, once performed in India, will save customers the downtime, disruption and costs, by keeping GTF engines flying longer, and getting them back on the wing, sooner. We remain dedicated to providing world-class support to our customers and their operations today and into the future.”
Since entering into service in early 2016, the GTF engine has demonstrated its promised ability to reduce fuel burn by 16 percent, to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 50 percent compared to the regulatory standard, and to reduce the noise footprint by 75 percent.
NOTE: Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft and helicopter engines, and auxiliary power units. United Technologies Corp., based in Farmington, Connecticut, provides high-technology systems and services to the building and aerospace industries.