CAPA Report Highlights Indian Carriers’ Supply Chain and Engine Challenges

In a stark revelation made by aviation consultancy CAPA India, also known as Center for Aviation, it was highlighted that Indian carriers find themselves at a heightened risk of engine troubles and supply chain hurdles, outpacing their global counterparts. The core issue lies in the substantial proportion of narrow-body planes within India’s overall fleet, particularly the re-engined Airbus A320Neo and Boeing 737 Max.

CAPA India reveals that the narrow-body share of the Indian fleet is among the world’s highest, and the reliance on re-engined aircraft exacerbates the impact of supply chain disruptions. In FY 2020, narrow-body planes constituted a staggering 80% of Indian airlines’ fleets, slightly behind China’s 81%. However, in leading aviation markets like Japan, the US, and Brazil, the share of narrow-body airplanes ranged from 40% to 67%.

The mid-year outlook released by CAPA India highlights a concerning scenario with 150 Indian aircraft grounded due to supply chain and related issues. This figure could escalate to 200 by March 2024, with IndiGo bearing the brunt as nearly half of the grounded planes belong to the carrier. Additionally, CAPA anticipates a potential grounding of 30-40 geared turbofan-powered aircraft by the end of Q2 FY 2025.

The repercussions are significant, with each grounded aircraft incurring a cost of 0.8-1 million dollars and resulting in revenue losses ranging from $1.4-2 million. To mitigate the impact, airlines resort to leasing planes, introducing complexities and adding to overall costs.

Notably, the challenges extend beyond Pratt & Whitney engines. CAPA points out that Indian carriers must replace nearly 250 CFM-made LEAP engines in FY 2025. These engines, powering Airbus A320Neo and Boeing 737 Max planes, demand early replacements due to reduced on-wing time caused by India’s hot and dusty environmental conditions.

The report underscores the urgent need for strategic interventions to safeguard the Indian aviation sector against these vulnerabilities.

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