Airbus lands one of its largest orders ever from IndiGo

Oct 30, 2019

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Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo has placed one of Airbus’ largest orders ever, for 300 A320neo jets.

The firm order includes A320neo, A321neo and A321XLR — the longest-range variant of the family that was launched at the Paris air show in June — models, said Airbus on Tuesday. The airframer did not provide a breakdown of the order.

“This order is an important milestone, as it reiterates our mission of strengthening air connectivity in India”, said Ronojoy Dutta, CEO of IndiGo, in a statement. “India is expected to continue with its strong aviation growth and we are well on our way to build the world’s best air transportation system”.

IndiGo was among one of the first operators of the A320neo when it debuted the aircraft in early 2016. However, the introduction of the re-engined jet faced hiccups related to the reliability of the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines. The airline was still making modifications to the engines to rectify the issues as recently as June.

IndiGo chief financial officer Riyaz Peermohamed said in the statement that engine selection for the new 300 aircraft order will be made at a later date. The airline recently pivoted to engines manufactured by CFM International from ones by Pratt for 280 of its A320neo deliveries beginning in 2020.

Despite these engine issues, IndiGo has proven keen for more aircraft. The latest 300 aircraft order complements 335 A320neo and A321neo aircraft the airline already has on order, Airbus’ orders and deliveries data for September shows.

The Indian market continues to grow and evolve rapidly. Earlier this year Jet Airways shut down, and state-owned Air India continues to face financial challenges amid a slow-moving privatization initiative.

Passenger traffic in India grew an impressive 19% year-over-year in 2018, according to data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Domestic traffic grew 17.5% year-over-year in 2017.

IndiGo is India’s largest domestic carrier flying nearly 42% of capacity in 2018, according to Diio by Cirium schedule data. The airline is scheduled to fly 46% of domestic capacity this year.

Mega aircraft deals are increasingly common. British Airways parent International Airlines Group (IAG) committed to 200 Boeing 737 MAX jets at the Paris air show in June, and Frontier Airlines and Volaris parent Indigo Partners firmed an order for 430 A320neo aircraft last December.

Featured image courtesy of Airbus.

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