Indian carrier IndiGo is set to give widebodies a go for their London bound journies. The carrier has claimed that they don’t want to fly to Europe with stops in-between and wants a seamless, direct service for customers.
What are the details of the widebody order?
So far, IndiGo has not shed light on just how close it is to ordering widebody aircraft. So far the carrier just has a fleet comprised of Airbus short-haul aircraft. But with their recent order of the Airbus A321XLR narrowbody, Indigo is set to open up dramatic new routes to Europe.
IndiGo made a huge order for new Airbus A320neo aircraft, some of which included the A321XLR. This aircraft has been a dream come true for many airlines around the world, with its superb economics and long-range perfect for thin routes.
However, the aircraft is not exactly suited for the Mumbai/Bengaluru-London route that the airline is considering.
“Deliveries of the A321 XLR begin from 2023-24. This aircraft can fly nonstop to western Europe but can’t do London (or other destinations in UK) nonstop apart from maybe Delhi. When we launch London, we will look at places like Mumbai and Bengaluru also. For that we will need wide-body aircraft which are certainly not ruled out by the recent 300-aircraft order,” mentioned IndiGo’s CEO Ronojoy Dutta to the Indian Times.
What would IndiGo order?
The CEO of IndiGo has so far only confirmed that they won’t be making a widebody order for the next six months.
But if they did, we would hazard a guess that they would either be looking at the Boeing 787 range or, more likely, the Airbus A330neo offering. The one problem is that the Boeing 787 comes in at a bit cheaper than the A330neo and such a good deal might sway the mind of such a price-sensitive company.
However, in a recent quote (below), the CEO mentioned 350 passenger capacity widebody. This would place any order well up towards an A330-900neo, or perhaps even an Airbus A350.
What will the widebody be like onboard?
There is one question that everyone is asking: will IndiGo introduce business class onboard their widebodies (akin to AirAsia X on their A330s)? The answer; possibly.
“Widebody needs a business class. As of now, the business class market exists more for flying into India than flying out. We are creating corridors (for flow of passengers to create transit feed required to fill up these planes) by expanding the in the east and far east. Filling 350-seater wide-body requires that and this something all big airlines globally have done,” Dutta continued to The Indian Times.
Because IndiGo has only operated short-haul to medium-haul flights so far (with their longest flying to Istanbul at around seven hours) there are a few items of their cabin they have had to rework for longer journies. For one the aircraft seats are a bit hard and not designed for such long journies. Passengers also lack any blankets or pillows.
There is one passenger comfort that IndiGo has ruled out; hot food. So far, they have only allowed cup noodles to be served on board, with the rest of their selection happening to be cold prepacked items from back home. The reason given for this is the fuel savings for not having heavy ovens onboard.
What do you think? What aircraft do you think IndiGo will order? Let us know in the comments.