Millennium Post

Airbus record: Indigo to buy 250 A-320s in 1 deal

India's no-frill airline IndiGo on Wednesday placed orders for 250 latest Airbus A-320 neo planes worth $25.5 billion or Rs 1.55 lakh crore, making it the European manufacturer's biggest ever contract in terms of

aircraft numbers. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to this effect was signed at the Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France, by IndiGo's co-founders Rakesh Gangwal and Rahul Bhatia, who is also the Managing Director of the airline's parent firm InterGlobe Enterprises.

The agreement becomes Airbus' single largest order in terms of the number of aircraft, IndiGo and Airbus said in a statement.

While Airbus did not provide the value of the IndiGo order, its website shows the list price per A-320 neo aircraft as $102.8 million. IndiGo's move came on the back of its previous orders of 100 A-320s in 2005 and another 180 A-320 neos in 2011 worth about $11 billion, which was the largest-ever at that time.

The deliveries of the A-320 neos, ordered in 2011, would start from next year. IndiGo is one of the launch customers for the neo planes which Airbus claims are fuel-savers. ‘This new order reaffirms IndiGo's commitment to the long-term development of affordable air transportation in India and overseas,’ IndiGo President Aditya Ghosh said.

‘The additional aircraft will enable us to continue to bring our low fares and courteous, hassle-free service to more customers and markets and will create more job opportunities and growth. The IndiGo team is energised and excited to herald this new phase of our growth,’ Ghosh said.

Airbus Executive Vice President (Strategy and Future Programmes) Kiran Rao said from Singapore that with the thrust on opening up secondary aviation market by the new Indian government, ‘we are very confident that such large orders will continue to be placed by Indian carriers.’

Claiming that the A-320s were the best for such secondary markets, Rao exuded confidence that new routes would open up very soon where these single-aisled aircraft could operate.

He said market forecasts projected a demand for 1,200- 2,000 planes by Indian carriers over the next 20 years, with new carriers like Tata-SIA venture Vistara and AirAsia India coming in. Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Brégier also said that the A-320 neo ‘continues to dominate world market share and this commitment confirms the A-320 family as the aircraft of choice in the most dynamic aviation growth markets.’

Airbus claims the upgraded and re-engined A-320 neos are fuel-savers as they incorporate several innovations like the latest generation engines and large Sharklet wing-tip devices, which together deliver 15 per cent in fuel savings.
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