Jet Airways close to deal to buy 50 Airbus A220 jets: Sources

India’s Jet Airways is close to a deal to buy 50 A220 jets from Airbus, two people familiar with the matter said. The airline’s board is expected to meet on Monday to finalize the deal.

A Jet Airways spokesperson said, “We are in an advanced stage of discussions with the leasing and OEM (manufacturers) for the aircraft, and we will announce our aircraft choice and fleet plans as we make our decision.”

“As we’ve said before, we’re studying all possibilities to find the one that works best for us.”

Airbus declined to comment.

Recently, with airlines reporting several technical fault incidents, aviation regulator DGCA on Monday said it conducted a spot check and found insufficient number of engineering personnel to certify aircraft of various carriers before their departure. Is. Before each departure, an aircraft is checked and certified by an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME). DGCA has now issued guidelines for airlines on deployment of AME personnel and has directed them to comply by July 28.

The spot investigation also found that the airlines’ AME teams were improperly identifying the “cause of a reported malfunction”, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) order noted. They also found that there has been an “increasing trend of MEL (Minimum Equipment Inventory) releases” of aircraft, it said.

“MEL release” means that an aircraft is allowed to fly with certain inoperative instruments or equipment for a specified period, until repairs are made. “It has also been observed that airlines are repeatedly resorting to one-time authorization to employees who have certified Category A at transit stations, which is not in line with the extant regulatory provisions,” the DGCA said.

The engineering chief of one of the Indian airlines explained that a Category A engineer is called a ‘limited scope engineer’, and is allowed to certify and issue aircraft for departure only if the aircraft does not have any complex defects. Are. A Category B1 engineer is a step up from a Category A engineer and is capable of handling mechanical faults.

Similarly, Category B2 engineering is capable of handling faults in the aircraft’s electronic components. The DGCA said: “It has been decided that all aircraft at base and transit stations shall be issued by their organization to certified staff holding AME category B1/B2 license with appropriate authorization.” The regulator asked airlines to deploy Category B1 and Category B2 engineers at all base and transit stations and ensure that necessary equipment and equipment are available.

“Alternatively, you can choose to send the certifying staff on flight duty,” the DGCA said. The DGCA said that its instructions should be followed by July 28.

The airline’s engineering chief said on condition of anonymity that it would be difficult for airlines to have either Category B1 or Category B2 engineers at all transit stations. “If I operate one flight per day from Jorhat or Jharsuguda, how can I hire two category B1 or B2 engineers – which are less in number – to certify and issue only one flight? ” Head explained.

In the last one month, there have been several technical glitches in Indian aircraft. On Sunday, IndiGo’s Sharjah-Hyderabad flight was diverted to Karachi as a precautionary measure after pilots noticed an engine failure.

On Saturday night, the Calicut-Dubai flight of Air India Express was diverted for Muscat after a burning smell in the air between the cabins. A day ago a live bird was found in the cockpit of Air India Express Bahrain-Kochi flight.

SpiceJet is currently under regulatory scrutiny. The DGCA had on July 6 issued a show-cause notice to SpiceJet after at least eight incidents of technical snag in its aircraft since June 19. DGCA is currently probing all these incidents.

(with Reuters and PTI inputs)

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