The Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has approved extended-range twin-engine operations certification to twenty-nine A320-200neo and A321-200neo aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney engines that IndiGo Airlines (6E, Delhi Int'l) intends to operate, the Press Trust of India has reported.

“IndiGo had sought EDTO [Extended Diversion Time Operations] approval for thirty-two A320/A321neo aircraft powered with PW1100G engines. Of these, 29 have got the approval and IndiGo’s flying permit has been endorsed as EDTO approved,” an unnamed DGCA official told the news agency.

With such approval in place, the aircraft have an additional 30 minutes of diversion time for landing at a nearby airport on top of the previous limit of 60 minutes, giving the budget carrier the option of launching more distant long-haul international destinations, such as across the Bay of Bengal to South-East Asia or over the Arabian Sea to the Gulf region.

The official said that approval for the remaining three neo was expected soon.

IndiGo currently operates a fleet of eighty-seven A320-200s and twenty-five ATR72-600s, as well as 120 A320-200N with a further 213 to be delivered and twenty-eight A321-200NX with one more due for delivery. It also has 369 A321-200N also signed up for delivery.

“IndiGo has all the pre-requisite approvals to operate its PW neo fleet as EDTO flights. This approval was achieved after fulfilling all operational requirements, which included conducting a validation flight,” an IndiGo spokesperson told the Press Trust of India.