The IndiGo order — worth almost $50 billion at list price, though IndiGo would have got a hefty discount thanks to the order size and the airline’s impeccable credentials — is also the largest-ever single aircraft purchase by any airline with Airbus.
India’s largest budget airline has 480 planes yet to be delivered from previous orders which it is to get by the end of this decade.
The latest order “will provide IndiGo a further steady stream of deliveries between 2030 and 2035,” said the airline.
The “historic” purchase agreement was signed by an IndiGo team led by promoter & MD Rahul Bhatia with Airbus brass led by CEO Guillaume Faury at the ongoing Paris Air Show 2023.
Since its inception in 2006, IndiGo has ordered a total of 1,330 aircraft with Airbus.
India’s largest domestic biggest airline by market share currently operates nearly 310 planes.
“IndiGo’s order book, comprising a mix of A320neo (new engine option), A321neo and A321XLRs (extra long range), has almost 1,000 aircraft yet to be delivered well into the next decade. The evaluation of the offers was shared and discussed with IndiGo’s board, and consequently endorsed. This new order will bring the strategic relationship between IndiGo and Airbus to an unprecedented depth and breadth,” the airline said in a statement.
Air India had in February ordered 470 aircraft from Boeing and Airbus with 400 single aisles and 70 wide bodies including A350s, Boeing 787s and B777X valued at $70 billion at list price.
IndiGo’s current order book is for all single aisles and the airline has kept the option for having wide bodies in its fleet open. It has wet leased (hired with operating crew) two wide bodies of Turkish Airlines which are deployed on Delhi-Istanbul and Mumbai-Istanbul routes.
IndiGo will decide the engines — with Pratt & Whitney & CFM being the two options — “in due course” along with the “exact mix of A320 and A321 aircraft.” Boeing had also made a strong pitch for its single aisle B737MAX.
“The fuel-efficient A320neo family aircraft will allow IndiGo to maintain its strong focus on lowering operating costs and delivering fuel efficiency… This year IndiGo expects to welcome 10 crore customers on board… IndiGo is amongst the fastest growing airlines in the world and this order will allow it to continue this growth for many years to come,” the airline said in a statement.
IndiGo CEO Pieter Elbers said: “It is difficult to overstate the significance of IndiGo’s new historic order for 500 Airbus A320 Family aircraft. An orderbook now of almost 1,000 aircraft well into the next decade, enables IndiGo to fulfill its mission to continue to boost economic growth, social cohesion and mobility in India. At IndiGo, we take pride in being India’s preferred airline for connectivity in and with India; and by doing so, being one of the leading airlines in the world.”