IndiGo Airlines (6E, Delhi International) is looking to lease twenty-two A320-type aircraft on the secondary market to counter an expected increase in the number of grounded aircraft due to the evolving Pratt & Whitney engine issues.

India-based outlets report that plans are well developed, with the first aircraft expected as soon as November. Of the 22 planes, ten will come under wet leases, as previously reported by ch-aviation, initially for six months, while the remainder will come on dry leases. The low-cost carrier is scouting for A320-200s fitted with International Aero Engines (IAE) manufactured V2500 engines. While V2500 engines are older and less fuel efficient than the Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan engines, those disadvantages are more than offset by the reliability the IAE engines provides.

"The intention is to look for non-Pratt & Whitney aircraft, but getting A320Ns may be difficult as the supply system is already choked," a source close to negotiations told India's Economic Times. "We may have to settle for the A320ceo to maintain capacity in the immediate term."

Indigo currently operates twenty A320-200s, all powered by the V2500 engine, but this number comprises just over 6% of the carrier's current fleet, which is mainly made up of A320-200Ns and A321-200NX. Twenty-five of IndiGo's 192 A321-200NX are fitted with the PW1100 geared turbofan (GTF) engines now subjected to accelerated inspections after a contaminate was found in the metal used in the engine's turbine blades, while 114 of the carrier's 172 A320-200Ns are also impacted. Around 45 of these aircraft are already grounded awaiting inspection or new engines.

Earlier this week, RTX Corporation, the parent entity of Pratt & Whitney, ramped up the number of engines it needed to inspect. When they first disclosed the problem in late July, the estimated figure was approximately 1,200 engines. That number has now increased to around 3,000. IndiGo, which has said it wants to increase its capacity by 25% by the end of the first half of 2024, is one of the world's biggest users of the problem-plagued Pratt & Whitney engines.

"We are in receipt of the recent information from Pratt & Whitney regarding the outcome of the latest engine inspection," says an IndiGo spokesperson. "We continue to work closely with Pratt & Whitney to assess the potential impact to our fleet and implement mitigation measures as required."