IndiGo, India’s largest airline by market share, has placed a record order with European manufacturer Airbus for 500 A320 Family aircraft, the company said in a statement. It is the biggest single purchase agreement in the history of commercial aviation.
This IndiGo order book comprises a mix of A320NEO, A321NEO and A321XLR aircraft. The airline will take the delivery of these aircraft between 2030 and 2035.
The agreement takes the total number of Airbus aircraft on order by IndiGo to 1,330, making it the world’s biggest A320 Family customer.
Earlier this year, Tata-owned Air India placed orders for 470 aircraft from Airbus and US manufacturer Boeing.
"In all likelihood, we might not see a total of 500 aircraft being deployed into revenue service in India, effective deployment of fleet will remain at the 300 to 350 level with the remaining aircraft on order being structured as part of fleet replacement cycle every 7 or 10 years," said Mark M Martin, CEO of Martin Consulting.
“The fact that India now has two well-capitalised carriers that have the ability and willingness to take significant bets on the potential of this market, augurs well for the stable, long-term growth of Indian aviation,” said Kapil Kaul, CEO & Director, CAPA India.
The purchase agreement was signed by Rahul Bhatia, Promoter & Managing Director of IndiGo, Dr Venkataramani Sumantran, Chairman and Non-Executive Independent Director of IndiGo, Pieter Elbers, CEO of IndiGo, Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO, and Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International, at the Paris Air Show 2023.
“It is difficult to overstate the significance of IndiGo’s new historic order for Airbus 500 Airbus A320 Family aircraft. An order book of now almost 1000 aircraft well into the next decade, enables IndiGo to fulfil its mission to continue to boost economic growth social cohesion, and mobility in India,” said Pieter Elbers.
“This order strongly reaffirms IndiGo’s belief in the growth of India, in the A320 Family and in our strategic partnership with Airbus”, he added.
New Delhi-based IndiGo holds a 60 per cent market share in the Indian airlines industry. “Today IndiGo operates over 300 aircraft and has previous orders totaling 480 aircraft which are yet to be delivered between today and the end of this decade. With this additional firm order of 500 aircraft for 2030-2035, IndiGo’s order book has almost 1.000 aircraft yet to be delivered well into the next decade”, the airline said in its statement.
Indian aviation sector has seen a lot of turmoil in recent times as Go First airline filed for bankruptcy last month. The Wadia-owned airline held engine-maker Pratt & Whitney responsible for its financial woes. The now-bankrupt airline plans to pursue legal recourse against Pratt & Whitney for failing to identify engine failure issues.
"It is expected that IndiGo will chose the CFM iLeap engine in view of recent challenges noted with Pratt & Whitney," added Martin.