IndiGo Places Huge Airbus A320neo Family Order For 300 Aircraft

Low-cost carrier IndiGo has placed a firm order for 300 Airbus A320neo family aircraft. With a mix of A320neo, A321neo and A321XLR, the order is one of the largest ever made by an individual airline.

IndiGo Airbus order
The order includes the A321XLR. Photo: Airbus

IndiGo orders 300 neos

Just hours after we shared a rumor that IndiGo was on the verge of placing a huge Airbus order, Airbus themselves confirmed that he deal has been signed and sealed. In total, IndiGo has signed a firm order for 300 A320neo family aircraft, making it one of Airbus’ largest ever orders with a single airline.

The order contains a mix of A320neos, A321neos and, as expected, some A321XLR aircraft. This takes the total number of Airbus aircraft on order from the carrier to a staggering 730, all from the A320neo family.

IndiGo Airbus order
IndiGo now has over 700 A320neo family on order from Airbus.

Ronojoy Dutta, Chief Executive Officer of IndiGo commented in a press release,

“This order is an important milestone, as it reiterates our mission of strengthening air connectivity in India, which will in turn boost economic growth and mobility. 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, to serve more customers and deliver on our promise of providing low fares and a courteous, hassle free experience to them.”

IndiGo is already an all Airbus operator, with a fleet of more than 200 of the A320 family in operation It prides itself on operating one of the youngest fleets in the skies, with an average fleet age of just 5.7 years.

A fast growing carrier

IndiGo had its first A320neo aircraft delivered in March 2016. It signaled a step change for the airline in upgrading from its fleet of slightly older A320ceo aircraft. Since then, the airline has placed orders for 372 of the family, including an order in 2015 for a total of 250 A320neos. At the time, this was the single biggest order that Airbus had received from an airline.

Today’s order surpasses this figure quite comfortably and cements IndiGo’s position as one of Airbus’ most valuable customers. Today, the airline is flying 97 A320neo aircraft – the world’s largest fleet of the type – alongside its 128 A320ceos. It’s importance to Airbus was highlighted earlier this month when it received the 1,000th A320neo from the European manufacturer.

The addition of the A321XLR to the fleet is an interesting development. IndiGo has not been quiet about its ambitions to become a long haul operator, with plans in place to launch London services soon, and expansion into the Middle East ongoing. The A321XLR has a huge range, and even in an all-economy full capacity configuration could allow IndiGo to reach most of Europe, all of Asia and the west of Africa.

IndiGo Airbus order
The range of the A321XLR from Delhi. Image: GCMap

Not without its problems

IndiGo’s commitment to the Airbus line of products comes despite the airline’s somewhat difficult times over the past few months. The A320neo, in particular, has been the source of some dissatisfaction, with Pratt & Whitney engine issues causing the airline to dump the supplier in favor of CFM for future power plants.

Even then, the P&W issues continue to cause a headache for the airline, with the DGCA just yesterday ordering it to replace the engines on all aircraft over 3,000 flight hours. IndiGo has been given just 15 days to replace at least one of the P&W 1100 engines with a modified version, otherwise face the grounding of an estimated 16 of its fleet.

IndiGo Airbus order
The DGCA has ordered all engines over 3,000 hours old to be replaced. Photo: Airbus

Delays with Airbus production have also caused some problems for the airline. An expected 3-6 month delay in receiving its A321neos is thought to be responsible for the airline putting some of its expansion plans on hold.

Nevertheless, today’s massive order is a clear vote of confidence in the European manufacturer, and will undoubtedly be cause for celebration in Toulouse. Riyaz Peermohamed, Chief Aircraft Acquisition and Financing Officer of IndiGo commented in the press release,

 “We are pleased to partner yet again with Airbus for our next batch of Airbus A320neo Family aircraft. The fuel-efficient A320neo family aircraft will allow IndiGo to maintain its strong focus on lowering operating costs and delivering fuel efficiency with high standards of reliability. The choice of engine manufacturer for this order will be made at a later date.”

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albez

That is great news for Indigo and Airbus. This order makes it almost too obvious that air travel within, from, and to Asia is growing at unprecedentedly rapid rates and seems to be the case for the near future. With that in mind, has a case been made to or by Airbus to offer and XLR version of its A319 and A320? It seems that these smaller aircraft, given ample range, could establish new routes between smaller cities, or between a smaller city and major hubs.

Frank

The A319, like the 737 Max 7 – is pretty much a dead aircraft. Customers are shifting towards the purpose built A220, rather then a shrink of either model (shrinks never seem to sell very well, do they?) Probably because of the increased weight that is needed for the larger models and while unnecessary on a shrink, you cannot change it. The Airbus line up pretty much runs A220-100, A220-300, A320 Neo, A321 Neo, A321 Neo LR, A321 Neo XLR….for single aisle jets

Karl

@Frank

The A330-200 shrink was highly successful. As you can see in the link below*; from 1998 (i.e. Entry into Service of the A330-200) through 2008, Airbus delivered significantly more A330-200s than A330-300s.

Also, the A319ceo and 737-700NG were highly successful shrinks. The A319ceo has 1486 orders, while the 737-700NG has about the same number of orders as the entire MD-80 family of aircraft — i.e. 1167 orders for the 737-700NG (including Cs and Ws) vs. 1191 orders for the entire MD-80 family. Of course, the A318 and 737-600NG double shrinks were not very successful.

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A330#Orders_and_deliveries

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A320_family#Orders_and_deliveries

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_737_Next_Generation#Orders_and_deliveries

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_Douglas_MD-80#Deliveries

Frank

Wow – over 700 aircraft in their fleet. It makes you wonder how much of this order is due to the failure of Jet Airways? In essence, Boeing lost an order for 225 Max jets and Airbus picked up an order for 300 of the A320 family. I guess Jet Airways is not coming back any time soon. That means Boeing has lost a chunk of the Indian market; Air India has no jets whatsoever on order, Vistara has 11 Boeing’s on order and SpiceJet has 193 Max’s to come. Airbus is selling 50 320Neos to Vistara, 107 to GoAir,… Read more »

Karl

As of September 30, the A320neo family has 6,660 firm orders while the 737MAX family has 4930 firm orders. Not counting any additional MAX and NEO order, with the 300 additional A320neo orders the A320neo family now has 58.5 single aisle percent market share — 6969/(4930+6960) — over the broader single-aisle market, above 140-150 seats (i.e. C919 and MC-21 not included).

I would not be surprised if Airbus is planning to increase A320ne family monthly output from 63 to 75 units, or even 80 units, within 5 years.

Gianni

It doesnt matter how much percent of the market one or the other has. You need to look at the profit per unit. It is much more damaging for Boeing that they will be forced to cut their profit due to the problems with the Max. Especially the pilots probably requiring extra training etc.

Most carriers cant switch from Airbus to Boeing or vice versa. Once they commit they are stuck for the rest of their existence to the selected company.

Kaden

What a coincidence! Indigo places the largest single order ever made by an individual airline with Airbus while Dennis Muilenberg testifies before US congress about the Max!!!