The order — a mix of A320 neo, A321 neo, and the new long range aircraft A321 XLR from the Airbus stable — makes India’s position as one of the top three growing markets for air travel with more than 1,200 aircraft on order.
The latest deal takes IndiGo’s A320neo family aircraft orders to 730, making it the world’s biggest customer for these planes. The airline had ordered 50 ATR-72 in September, of which 21 have been delivered.
“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 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,” said Ronojoy Dutta, chief executive officer of IndiGo.
The Airbus A321 XLR jet will also help IndiGo widen its international footprint.
Airbus’ new A321 XLR — with a list price of $142 million — has extended the range of the A320neo family to 4,700 nautical miles. Buying it will allow IndiGo offer narrow-body flights between city pairs that can’t support larger jets.
The XLR also overlaps with Boeing’s long-planned New Midmarket Airplane or NMA. A decision on whether to move forward with that programme has been put on hold, as the US company focuses on the Max crisis.
IndiGo said it was also purchasing the baseline A320neo, priced at $110.6 million as of 2018, and the A321neo, without providing a breakdown between the variants.
The company will later select an engine for the planes. Its most recent turbine order saw a switch to the Leap model from GE and France’s Safran, following a series of glitches with a rival unit developed by Pratt & Whitney. Indian regulators have warned that planes with Pratt’s geared-turbofan design could be grounded if they’re not updated within two weeks. The order also strengthens Airbus’ position for single-aisle narrow-body jet in the Indian market. IndiGo’s rival GoAir and Vistara have also opted Airbus’ A320 family jets.
“We are delighted that IndiGo, one of our early launch customers for the A320neo, continues to build its future with Airbus, making the Indian airline the world’s biggest customer for the A320neo family,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus chief executive officer.
“We are grateful for this strong vote of confidence as this order confirms the A320neo family the aircraft of choice in the most dynamic aviation growth markets.”