IndiGo to get into larger skies by acquiring 180 A320s from Airbus
IndiGo Air, India’s leading low cost airliner has shocked the industry and analysts by signing a MoU with Airbus to acquire 180 A320s in the next 10 years. That is roughly one third of the fleet of Southwest Airlines, the US’ largest carrier, all in one bite. It is enough to occupy the entire Airbus production line for six months. However, the delivery is scheduled over next few years.
The decision is influenced by the fuel efficiency of A320s over the current models in the fleet which are more of Boeing’s B737s. The next versions of Boeing’s competitive B737NGs are yet to catch up the efficiency demonstrated by the Airbus.
Today, IndiGo operates 35 aircraft in the nation’s explosive-growth aviation market. The initiative clearly marks the optimism over increasing air traffic and industry expansion in the next decade in the country.
It is estimated that by 2020, India’s aviation market will be handling 450 million passengers. Over the past decade, passenger numbers handled by Indian airports tripled, from 39 million per annum to 123 million. Based on the CAPA forecast, India will become the third largest aviation market in the world within 10 years, behind the USA and China.
The airline expects to attract more investors and lead the pack of low-cost airlines in India as the country gears up to see a new dawn in the civil aviation industry in the coming decades. With more innovation and cost-effective operations as the focal point, the company has already made plans to replace most of the 75 aircrafts to be under the carrier by 2016, when the A320neos start to arrive.
Petra Vaškových, Apr 27, 2011
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