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History Created: IndiGo places order for 500 Airbus A320 family aircraft

Indian low cost carrier IndiGo has placed an order for 500 Airbus A320 family aircraft. The long Airbus loyalist airline has created history by setting the record for the biggest single purchase agreement in the history of commercial aviation.

Done deal

After weeks of rumours running around the internet, IndiGo today officially announced an order for 500 Airbus A320 family aircraft. This includes A320neos, A321neos and A321XLRs (Extra Long Range). The exact number of each type will be decided at a later date.

This order takes the total number of Airbus aircraft on order by IndiGo to 1,330, establishing its position as the world’s biggest A320 Family customer.

It is difficult to overstate the significance of IndiGo’s new historic order for 500 Airbus A320 Family aircraft. An order book now of 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. 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. This order strongly reaffirms IndiGo’s belief in the growth of India, in the A320 Family and in our strategic partnership with Airbus.

said Pieter Elbers, CEO, IndiGo.

The historic 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, on the first day of the ongoing Paris Air Show 2023.

The deliveries of these aircraft will start in 2030 and will go through 2035.

This landmark order marks a new chapter in Airbus and IndiGo’s relationship that is democratising affordable air travel for millions of people in the world’s fastest growing aviation market. It is also a resounding endorsement of the A320 Family’s best-in-class operating economics that have been powering IndiGo’s growth for almost two decades. We cherish our long-standing relationship with IndiGo and are proud of our success together. We look forward to contributing to the growth of India’s air connectivity in its domestic network and into international markets through the expansion of this formidable partnership.

said Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International at Airbus.

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IndiGo’s relationship with Airbus started in 2005 when it placed an order for 100 A320 family aircraft, followed by 180 A320 family aircraft in 2011 (including the NEO (New Engine Option)), 250 A320neo family aircraft in 2014 and 300 A320neo family aircraft in 2019, taking its previous total order book to 830 A320 Family aircraft.

As of the time of writing this article, IndiGo operates 264 A320 family aircraft – 162 A320neos, 79 A321neos, 21 A320ceos and 2 A321 freighters.

This was important

IndiGo has had a history of placing all of its orders at the Paris Air Show and it continued this tradition this time also. Prior to this order, the airline had a order backlog of some 500+ aircraft that are to be delivered through 2029. The A320 family aircraft is the most ordered aircraft family in the world and Airbus does not have a vacant delivery slot for any airline through 2029, meaning that if an airline orders A320 family aircraft today directly from Airbus (getting it from lessors on a short notice is a different thing), they won’t be delivered before 2029. By placing this order, IndiGo has secured delivery slots for 2030 onwards, ensuring that its fleet renewal continues.

IndiGo has a habit of using brand-new aircraft for 5-6 years and then returning them back to the lessors, keeping the average age of the fleet to 5 to 6 years only. For the past year or two, the airline has grown very slowly in terms of fleet. The reason for this is that while it is continuously taking delivery of new aircraft, it is also phasing out the older ones simultaneously.

India is currently the fastest growing aviation market in the world and also the third largest in the world currently. The market is expected to grow many folds in the coming years. IndiGo’s 500 aircraft order combined with Air India’s 470 aircraft order announced earlier this year are just a proof of that and the trust which airlines are continuing to show in the Indian aviation market.

IndiGo is one airline which has defied all odds and has fought very bravely in what is one of the toughest aviation markets worldwide. The airline has gone from strength to strength time and again, be it the financial crises of 2008 or the pandemic in 2020. IndiGo is and will continue to be the pride of India and the Indian aviation market in the years to come.

Meanwhile, IndiGo recently announced plans to expand its international network with six new destinations.

Featured image by Airbus

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