Our Bureau European commercial jet maker Airbus on Wednesday said that issues with regard to the Pratt & Whitney engine for A320neo have been resolved.

Anand Stanley, President and Managing Director for Airbus (India and South Asia), told a news conference during the biennial aero show here that there has been a significant drop in the problems with regard to Pratt & Whitney engines by a factor of four during the last 12 months.

“The reliability rate on A320neo is now as high as 99.6 per cent,” said Stanley, who took over his new role a few months ago.

The Civil Aviation Ministry had recently called for a meeting with Airbus officials, and IndiGo and GoAir with regard to the increasing glitches in the Pratt & Whitney engine-powered A320neo aircraft. Both the airlines have several A320neos in their fleets.

“The deliveries of these aircraft are back to normal,” he said.

The existing A320neo engines are being retrofitted with a new software upgrade from Pratt & Whitney. About 95 per cent of the total number of A320neo aircraft have been retrofitted so far, and the rest will be done in a few months, he added.

“Irrespective of the issues which are being addressed actively, the rate of orders has been going up,” Stanley said.

A320neos are one of the most fuel-efficient aircraft from the stable of Airbus but recent and repeated problems with its engines had forced the regulator, DGCA, to order grounding of most of them.

On the issue of the notice sent out by the Enforcement Directorate to Airbus regarding the purchase of ₹8,000 crore worth of aircraft by Indian Airlines, Stanley said the company was willing to cooperate with the agency whenever it is asked to do so.

“We will not be able to comment on the issue as the investigations are ongoing,” he said.

In October last year, the ED had issued notices to Airbus executive vice-president Kiran Rao and six others for their alleged involvement in a money laundering case in a 13-year-old ₹8,000-crore deal to supply 43 passenger planes to the erstwhile Indian Airlines. The notices were issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Training centre in Delhi

Airbus has opened a training centre for commercial pilots and maintenance engineers in Delhi. Airbus forecast a need for more than 25,000 pilots in India over the next 20 years to keep pace with the current double-digit growth in its commercial aviation industry.

Stanely said Airbus has around 65 per cent fleet-in service and 70 per cent of new-order share. “Every Airbus commercial aircraft produced today is partly made in India,” he said.

He said the aircraft-maker expects to double the annual sourcing from India to about $1 billion. It has about 45-plus suppliers in the country. It has about 1,500 engineers working out of its R&D centre in the country.