IndiGo has committed to receiving 150 Airbus A321neo aircraft following a change in their original order. The Indian carrier was originally only expecting 25 A321neo. However, the airline has changed its order following a backlog of A320neo deliveries. IndiGo had been expecting 405 A320neos, however, now 125 of these orders have been converted to the A321neo. This joins the existing order of 25 A321neo aircraft, which had already been converted from previous orders.
A320 vs A321
The A320 and A321 are fairly similar aircraft. Consisting of a similar body, they are covered under the same type rating. The main difference is the length. The A321 is several meters longer. This allows the aircraft to carry around 40 more passengers, over a larger distance. In fact, American Airlines had replaced the A320ceo with the A321ceo, as the aircraft burns marginally more fuel.
As such, the A321 has gradually been becoming more favourable for airlines. In fact, Airbus has secured orders for 2,212 A321neo aircraft. This is 400 more than the original A321 which launched in 1989. However, this figure still only makes up 35% of total A320 family orders. According to Airbus, in 2017, the average price of an A320neo was $108.4m. This marks an increase of price $9.4m from the A320ceo. In contrast, the average price of an A321neo was $127m, while the A321ceo cost $116m.
IndiGo’s fleet is almost exclusively comprised of A320 aircraft with the exception of 12 ATR aircraft. The airline operates one of the largest fleets of A320 family aircraft according to Airbus. As such, it was supposed to be the launch customer for the A320neo originally. The A321s ordered by IndiGo will initially be operated on the airline’s routes to the Middle East. The airline is planning to expand into Europe. The first destination will be London followed by France, Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland. The A321’s range will allow these flights to take place from India.
Despite the Indian aviation industry struggling overall, IndiGo is in a fairly good position. It has managed to distance itself from the financial struggles of Jet Airways and Air India. Additionally, It has largely escaped being involved in the various incidents and accidents which have plagued the country’s aviation industry of late. IndiGo leads the Indian market by far with a 40.3% share. Larger than the 13.3% share of the Indian Flag Carrier.
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