IndiGo to buy 180 Airbus aircraft for $15 billion (Lead)

January 12th, 2011 - 5:31 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 12 (IANS) Leading low cost carrier (LCC) IndiGo Wednesday signed a deal worth $15 billion with European aircraft manufacturer Airbus for buying 180 A320 aircraft, the biggest ever order for large jets in global aviation history.”IndiGo has signed a memorandum of understanding for 180 eco-efficient Airbus A320 aircraft of which 150 will be the neo option and 30 will be standard A320s,” a company statement said.

This is the largest single firm order for a large jet type in commercial aviation history of the world.

“The order is the largest ever for a single-aisle aircraft which is a large aircraft type. Out of 180 Airbus A320 aircraft, 150 will be of the neo type, while 30 will be standard,” a senior official of the company told IANS.

The company would be one of the first carriers in the world to operate the eco-friendly and cost efficient version of A320 known as ‘neo’.

According to the company, the order confirmed the fact that the Indian aviation scenario had grown by leaps and bounds over the years.

The company feels that the order of the newer version of the jet aircraft would translate into cost savings and better operating margins.

“This order for leading fuel efficient aircraft will allow IndiGo to continue to offer low fares,” said Rahul Bhatia, group managing director of InterGlobe Enterprises.

Bhatia further said that the decision to purchase A320s was based on the opportunities to reduce costs and improve environmental performance.

Airbus A320neo is a short-to-medium range, narrow-body, commercial jetliner which can accommodate up to 220 passengers and has a range of 3,100 to 12,000 km.

The aircraft are expected to be delivered between 2016 and 2025, while the selection of the engine type would be decided later by the airline.

The airline’s new aircraft A320neo will feature more efficient engines and large wing tip devices called sharklets, delivering significant fuel savings of up to 15 percent.

The A320 family of aircraft are used for widespread service around the globe, including segments like short commuter sectors in Europe, Asia, while in the US, the aircraft is used for trans-continental flights.

Currently, IndiGo operates 34 Airbus A320-200 airplanes with total seating capacity of 180 people each to connect 24 cities within India with 221 daily flights.

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