Air India is the flag carrier of India and is in a difficult position after yet another incident that involves its engineering unit. In this latest incident, one of the CFM engines fell off during installation on an Airbus 320 airplane. The estimated damage is in tens of millions of Indian rupees.
An official has told that the incident took place on September 30 in Mumbai and that an inquiry has been initiated. The airline has informed the aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), about the incident that involved its CFM engine.
The official said, ‘The engineering department should be held accountable for it after thorough inquiry. The airline can not afford such carelessness. It has been estimated that the loss on account of the incident could be as much as Rs22 crore. The engine is a piece of very critical equipment. It has to be handled with care.’
We are still waiting for an official response from Air India. The engineering unit of Air India has been under heavy fire because of the frequent breakdowns of airplanes. This is becoming alarming because most of these breakdowns are taking place in foreign countries, and the frequency of such incidents involving technical glitches is increasing.
The engineering division receives about $1.5 million on a daily basis for making sure that all of the airplanes remain functional; however, it has been failing to achieve its intended aim. A number of aircraft have already been grounded on account of maintenance issues and the unavailability of spare parts. A total of 20 aircraft, including B777, A320, and B787, were grounded during the start of the current fiscal. The number has gone down since.
An executive of the engineering department has said that the falling of the CFM engine is a minor incident and claims that no damage has been incurred. The executive said, ‘It did not fall. The hoist of the engine actually slipped. The engine is not at all damaged. We are, however, not taking any chance and will test the engine all over again before installing it on the plane.’