The Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has banned all ETOPS operations of A320-200neo aircraft operated by IndiGo Airlines (6E, Delhi Int'l) and GoAir (G8, Mumbai Int'l) due to the poor reliability of Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines, the Times of India has reported.

The authority specifically referred to services to Port Blair in the Nicobar Islands, an Indian archipelago located between the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. Currently, IndiGo serves Port Blair from Kolkata Int'l, Bangalore Int'l, Chennai, and Hyderabad Int'l, while GoAir operates to the airport from Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, and Mumbai Int'l.

"The flight from Kolkata to Port Blair is of almost 1.5-hour duration. This restriction has been imposed for safety reason as there must be an airport within one hour of flying time during entire journey of A320 Neo with PW engines so that the plane can safely land at the nearest alternate on a single engine when one engine develops a snag," a DGCA official said.

Enroute from mainland India to Port Blair, there are no alternative airports within non-ETOPS range of 60 minutes of flight.

According to the ch-aviation schedules module, other IndiGo's services which extend beyond the 60-minute flight range from the nearest alternative airport include flights to Kuala Lumpur Int'l, Phuket, Singapore Changi, and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, as well as select services to the Gulf area. For GoAir, a predominantly domestic carrier, the list includes services to Phuket and Muscat.

The DGCA also revealed to The Hindu that since their induction in 2016, there have been 69 engine faults of the PW1100G powerplants installed on Indian carriers' aircraft. The authority additionally recently requested both airlines to conduct more frequent checks of the engine units.

According to the ch-aviation fleets module, IndiGo currently operates sixty-six PW1100G-powered A320neo, while GoAir operates thirty such aircraft. Two other Indian carriers, namely Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) and Vistara (UK, Delhi Int'l), also operated A320neo but equipped with CFM International LEAP-1A units.