Fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya on Friday blamed faulty aircraft engines of Pratt & Whitney for the collapse of Kingfisher Airlines. “We have sued IAE [International Aero Engine], a Pratt & Whitney Group Company, for compensation towards defective aircraft engines supplied to Kingfisher Airlines,” Mallya tweeted.
In the lawsuit, Kingfisher Airlines had demanded $236 million (Rs 1,570 crore approximately) for supplying “inherently defective” engines. Kingfisher Airlines Limited was asked to wind up after it failed to pay its dues to a firm in the United Kingdom. The beleaguered company was supposed to pay Rs 35 crore to aircraft parts supplier Aerotron. In November last year, the Karnataka High Court had also directed the official liquidator to attach the assets of the airline.
Mallya’s tweet came after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation initiated a probe against Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines. “Not surprised at DGCA enquiry into Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines. Kingfisher Airlines sadly collapsed also due to faulty engines,” he posted.
The DGCA has initiated the investigation after the engine of an IndiGo flight caught fire in Mumbai. The carrier had procured the engines from Pratt & Whitney. Apart from IndiGo, GoAir, which, too, procured engines from the same company, has also faced technical glitches in recent times. As many as 21 A320 neo planes that are equipped with P&W engines will be examined, a senior DGCA official had told PTI. The exercise is likely to be completed in the next two weeks.